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For week ended June 06, 1999 Posted 19 Jun 1999

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Polygamist Convicted of Incest

Summarized by Kent Larsen

Polygamist Convicted of Incest
Associated Press 4Jun99 L7
By C. G. Wallace: Associated Press Writer

SALT LAKE CITY -- Polygamist David Ortell Kingston was convicted Thursday of incest and unlawful sex, apparently ending the legal troubles facing the secretive Kingston clan. Kingston still faces sentencing of up to five years in prison for each crime.

Prosecutors in Utah have been watching the trial closely to see if prosecution can be extended to other polygamists in Utah. However, the trial may have limited bearing on other polygamists because other groups don't practice incest, according to former clan members.

The beating of Kingston's neice and wife by her father last year focused national attention on polygamy in Utah, which is estimated to involve 20,000 to 30,000 people. The anti-polygamy group Tapestry of Polygamy called the conviction a ray of hope for those seeking to escape polygamous relationships. Tapestry of Polygamy founder Laura Chapman says the conviction "gives girls trapped in polygamy the hope that they can escape. This says there is hope in the state of Utah."

But Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney Ed Brass, who is not affiliated with the Kingston case, doubts whether it will make much difference. "I've seen polygamy wax and wane as an issue here. I don't think legally it will be significant."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information