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Utah Polygamist on Trial for Rape of his 13-year-old Wife

A notorious Utah polygamist goes on trial today for raping his 13-year-old wife in 1986. If convicted, Tom Green, who is currently serving a sentence of up to five years in prison on four bigamy convictions, could spend the rest of his life behind bars. Green admits to having sexual intercourse with his second wife Linda Kunz, who is named as the 1986 victim, after their marriage in Mexico. Kunz became pregnant and gave birth to their son Melvin, who is now 15. Green’s defense attorneys have argued that the couple conceived their son while on vacation in Mexico and that Utah prosecutors lack jurisdiction to pursue the charges. However, Fourth District Judge Donald Eyre ruled last week that there is evidence that Green and Kunz’s mother, who approved of the marriage, hatched a “criminal conspiracy” in Utah, according to CNN.com. Green, 54, was convicted last year of being married to five women at the same time – a practice he claims adheres to the original tenets of the Mormon Church. The state of Utah decided to prosecute Green after he took his five wives and 33 children on national television to promote the idea of polygamy. He was also charged with failing to pay the state back for child support that was given for 30 of his children. The five women and 29 of their children continue to live in a compound on the Utah-Nevada border where they support themselves by selling magazine subscriptions. More than 100,000 people currently practice polygamy in the United States, according to Tapestry Against Polygamy, an organization that works to help women out of polygamist situations.

Sources:

Reuters.com 6/22/02; CNN.com 6/17/02