Polygamist released from probation

Deseret Morning News/May 19, 2006
By Ben Winslow

ST. George - Convicted polygamist and former police officer Rodney Holm is no longer on probation, but questions remain about whether he continues to practice polygamy.

Appearing briefly in 5th District Court Thursday in St. George, Holm joked with the judge who grappled with keeping him under the eye of law enforcement.

"Is there anything else he needs to do?" Judge G. Rand Beacham asked the prosecutor.

"Just abiding by the law," replied Assistant Utah Attorney General Paul Graf, who asked for one last review hearing on the case.

"Let's be done," Holm told the judge.

Beacham ordered Holm's probation to be "terminated successfully," meaning he has complied with all of the terms.

The Utah Attorney General's Office said it still has questions about whether Holm is still living with two of his purported wives.

"We have no evidence to verify that he is," Graf told the Deseret Morning News outside of court.

In 2003, Holm was convicted of bigamy and unlawful sex with a minor. The Hildale police officer took then-16-year-old Ruth Stubbs as his third wife in a polygamist marriage. Holm served jail time and was placed on supervised probation.

On Tuesday, the Utah Supreme Court upheld Holm's conviction, which challenged the state's bigamy law. The court - with its chief justice dissenting - ruled that Utah and the U.S. Constitution do not protect polygamists from prosecution.

The judge asked Holm if he had read what he called a "significant opinion."

"Part of it," Holm replied.

Prosecutors said the former Hildale police officer knew he was breaking the law when he entered into a marriage with a teenage girl.

"He was a sworn law enforcement officer convicted of violating the law," Graf said. "He was trained in child sex abuse investigations. He understood the law. He willfully violated the law."

Holm is still facing criminal charges in Mohave County, Ariz., accusing him of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He refused comment outside the courtroom.

Holm is a member of the Fundamentalist LDS Church based in the border towns of Hildale and Colorado City. FLDS Church leader Warren Jeffs is a fugitive on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

Jeffs is charged in Utah and Arizona with arranging child-bride marriages between teenage girls and older men. Federal prosecutors have filed charges against him of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to Jeffs' arrest.

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