Summarized by 'Kent S. Larsen II'
Charged With Bigamy, Father of Nine Instead Pleads No Contest to Adultery
Salt Lake Tribune 16Jun99 L7
By Thomas Burr: Special to the Tribune
RICHFIELD, UTAH -- With the completion of the recent abuse and incest cases
involving the Kingston clan of fundamentalist Mormons, prosecutors and
activists in Utah have wondered what will happen to polygamy prosecution.
Now, a fundamentalist Mormon has pleaded no contest to adultery in order to
avoid significant jail time.
Mark Easterday plead no contest on Tuesday to adultery in Utah's 6th
District Court in Richfield. The 38-year-old Easterday entered the plea
after prosecutors showed a video-taped deposition from Easterday's divorce
proceedings in which he admits marrying a second woman. Judge David Mower
sentenced Easterday to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine. The original
Bigamy charge carried a sentence of up to 5 years in jail.
A central issue in the case was the admissibility of the videotaped
deposition. When Judge Mower allowed the videotape and it was shown,
Easterday changed his plea saying, "My back is against the wall."
Easterday was excommunicated from the LDS Church several years ago.