Polygamist Green's release planned

Agents don't want Green to resume living with 4 wives

Desert Morning News, Utah/July 18, 2007
By Ben Winslow

Utah State Prison — Tom Green's face turned bright red and his eyes welled with tears as he waved at the 20 children, some grandchildren and three of his wives who came to his parole hearing.

"Hi, Father! Hi, Father!" several of the littlest children said, waving excitedly at him.

The notorious polygamist is scheduled to be released from prison on Aug. 7 and is sure to reunite with his large family. But the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole held a special parole hearing on Tuesday to discuss under what conditions Green might be released.

"Whatever restrictions I'm placed under when I leave will be nothing compared to the restrictions I've had for six years," Green said.

Green has been behind bars since 2001 and has already served a full term on bigamy and criminal nonsupport charges, stemming from his relationships with his five wives and dozens of children. He will be paroled on a conviction of rape of a child, stemming from his marriage to his first wife, Linda, when she was just 13.

Adult Probation and Parole agents are concerned that Green, who will be a registered sex offender, will go back to living with his four wives and scores of children in a four-unit home.

"We don't think it's appropriate," probation officer Robert Reeder said Tuesday.

Choosing his words carefully, Green announced that he would only be living in one unit with his legal wife, Linda.

"These other mothers of my children live in their own houses and I will never be living with them, so I will never be guilty of bigamy," he said.

Parole board member Keith Hamilton questioned the state's interest in whether Green is having "extramarital affairs" outside of his legal relationship. In a frank conversation with Linda Green, Hamilton asked if she had any say in who her husband slept with.

"If you asked him not to stray ... would he abide by that?" he asked.

"I think if it was a choice between not being able to be free and be a father to his children, he would, yes," she replied.

"Would you ask him?"

"If it meant he could be a father to his children, I would, yes."

"Would you feel that it was an intrusion on your relationship if the state asked you to ask him so that he could go home?"

"I would do whatever the state asks for my husband to come home," she sobbed.

Linda Green said that she would not support her husband if he were to take another wife as young as she was. One of Green's wives, who left him after he went to prison, feared he would continue to indoctrinate her children into polygamy.

"He still views himself as a religious leader, and he views his flock as his children," said the woman, who demanded that the parole board not make her name public.

The five-member parole board will meet soon to discuss the conditions of Green's release. Hamilton said it would not be an easy decision.

"The question is, should Mr. Green go home to his family? Knowing that if it's not still practicing polygamy, it's very close," he said. "Is there an interest in the state to monitor that situation?"

Hamilton noted that Green has done well in sex offender therapy and was a low risk for reoffending. The Utah State Prison recommend that the parole board terminate his sentence, meaning Green would no longer be under any supervision.

Green himself said he would abide by any conditions placed on him, pledging: "I will never put myself at risk to deprive my children of a father again."

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