Tags: Polygamy | Trial | Begins

Polygamy Trial Begins

Monday, 14 May 2001 12:00 AM

Tom Green, who has fathered 29 children, is charged with four counts of bigamy and criminal nonsupport. He might also face a separate trial on child-rape charges because he married one of his wives when she was 13.

Pretrial court hearings and records reveal allegations that Green would marry a wife, then divorce her and marry another, while continuing to live with all those he had introduced as his wives, the Daily Herald of Provo reported Monday.

Green has repeatedly gone on national and international television shows, introducing his five "spiritual wives," and the tapes have been accepted into evidence.

Green, perhaps Utah's most outspoken polygamist, said he is prepared to go to prison for what he claims is a religious practice.

Utah outlawed polygamy a century ago as a condition of achieving statehood, but the state government has mostly ignored the continuing practice.

His wives - Linda Kunz Green, Shirley Beagley Green, LeeAnn Beagley Green, Cari Bjorkman Green and Hannah Bjorkman Green - consider themselves loving wives and mothers who have chosen to live as they believe God wants them to live.

"I definitely don't feel like a victim at all," Linda Green told the newspaper. "I think the whole child-rape charges are stupid." Green is the focus of the state's case against Tom Green.

She was declared Green's common-law wife by the court on the bigamy charges, and she is the "victim" in the pending child-rape case against Green.

The other wives were married between the ages of 14 and 16. Together, they have born Green 29 children, with one more due next month.

"Each of us wanted to marry him," Shirley Green said. "It's not like we were coerced into this."

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Tom Green, who has fathered 29 children, is charged with four counts of bigamy and criminal nonsupport. He might also face a separate trial on child-rape charges because he married one of his wives when she was 13. Pretrial court hearings and records reveal allegations...
Polygamy,Trial,Begins
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2001-00-14
Monday, 14 May 2001 12:00 AM
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