Ex-teen bride wins $16 million case against polygamous group

FILE - In this July 9, 2015, file photo, Seth Jeffs, right, the brother of Warren Jeffs, the imprisoned leader of a polygamist sect, participates in a state water board meeting in Pierre, S.D. A South Dakota lawmaker frustrated with what he views as inaction over the sect's outpost in his district wants legislators to look into the compound. (AP Photo/James Nord, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A judge is awarding $16 million in a lawsuit filed by a woman married to her cousin at age 14 in a ceremony overseen by polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs.

A lawyer for Elissa Wall said Wednesday the decision lets attorneys investigate bank accounts and property connected to the secretive group based along the UtahArizona border.

Alan Mortensen says Wall plans to use the money to help people leaving the group, which also has a compound in South Dakota.

Wall’s testimony helped convict Jeffs in Utah, though the verdict was overturned on a technicality and he’s now imprisoned in Texas.

His group does not have a lawyer or spokesman to comment on the case.

The Associated Press doesn’t generally identify victims of sexual assault, but Wall speaks publicly about her experiences.