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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended July 16, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
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Sent on Mormon-News: 12Jul00

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Judge Rules Against Polygamist Tom Green's Scheme to Avoid Bigamy
Associated Press 11Jul00 N5
By Hannah Wolfson: Associated Press Writer

NEPHI, UTAH -- A judge in Nephi, Utah ruled Tuesday that admitted polygamist Tom Green must stand trial for bigamy. 4th District Judge Donald Eyre issued a written ruling calling Green's practice of divorcing each wife before taking another a "systematic scheme" and that Green could still be prosecuted for bigamy, even though he had divorced prior wives. Eyre ruled that Green still lived with his wives, in spite of the divorces.

Green has been one of the most public of Utah's polygamists, appearing on television programs like "48 Hours," "Dateline," and "Jerry Springer" along with his wives and 25 children. Green admitted his marriages on the programs and explained how he divorced each of his wives before marrying the next, as a way of getting around the law.

Green is charged with four counts of bigamy and with owing back child support to the state of Utah. He has also been charged with one count of child rape for his relationship with his first wife, Linda Kunz, when she was 13. Green was arraigned Tuesday on the bigamy and child support charges and plead innocent to the rape charge. A preliminary hearing in the rape charge is scheduled for August. Green says he will plead innocent to the bigamy charges also.

"I believe the only thing I'm really guilty of is building a family according to my religious beliefs," Green told reporters after the hearing Tuesday. "If I'm going to prison for anything, it should be what I'm guilty of, and that's practicing my religion."


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