Warren Jeffs, the 55-year-old polygamist church leader imprisoned for sexually assaulting underage followers, has been put into a medically induced coma, MSNBC is reporting. Jeffs, who is expected to survive, was put into the coma after experiencing complications from fasting. It’s not known at this time how long he’ll be in the coma.

Emily Detoto, Jeffs’ attorney, confirmed that her client was admitted on August 28 to the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons has stated that Jeffs hasn’t been eating or drinking since he was sentenced this month to life in prison.

The church leader suffers from a preexisting medical condition. However, one of his spokesman, Jason Clark, said his lack of nutrition isn’t the result of a declared hunger strike. When officials spoke with Jeffs, he “was still eating and he was still drinking, but he was losing weight, and it affected his medical situation.”

Jeffs is the self-proclaimed “prophet” of the fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. The church is a polygamist Mormon breakaway sect that has a ranch in west Texas.

Before being hospitalized, Jeffs was being held in protective custody in a single occupancy cell in the high security Powledge prison unit. Prison officials have said Jeffs hasn’t received any threats, but he’s being kept separate from other inmates, due to his offenses against children.

Written by: Karen Benardello

Warren Jeffs

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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