Polygamist Convicted of Child Rape

Associated Press/June 25, 2002

Nephi, Utah -- An avowed polygamist who practically dared prosecutors to go after him was convicted of child rape for impregnating a 13-year-old who later became his wife.

District Judge Donald Eyre took just 30 minutes to convict Tom Green on Monday for his relationship with Linda Kunz, who is now his legal wife. Green's non-jury trial lasted about an hour.

Green has appeared on TV talk shows, including the Sally Jessy Raphael Show, to talk about his many wives.

Prosecutors submitted Kunz's testimony from previous hearings, as well as her 1973 birth certificate and the 1986 birth certificate of the couple's first child.

"Basically, this case comes down to math,'' the judge said. "We know a normal human gestation takes nine months.''

Kunz refused to testify; spouses do not have to take the stand against each other.

"We don't feel like this was a crime,'' she said after the verdict.

Green, who has four other "wives'' and 30 children in all, including seven with Kunz, already is serving five years for bigamy and other charges. He was convicted last year in Utah's biggest polygamy case in five decades.

Green, 54, could get up to life in prison at sentencing Aug. 16 in the child rape case.

The judge had previously rejected defense arguments that the statute of limitations had run out. The defense had also argued that the case should be thrown out because the alleged rape did not take place in Utah but in Mexico, but the judge agreed with prosecutors that Green hatched a conspiracy in Utah to marry the girl.

At the time, someone as young as 14 could legally marry in Utah. The minimum age has since been raised to 16.

The Mormon Church renounced polygamy in the 1890s as part of the agreement that led to Utah statehood. But it continues to be practiced by about 30,000 people in Utah and elsewhere in the West.

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