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."