A 16-year-old girl wept as she told a judge how her polygamist father took her to a remote family ranch near the Utah-Idaho border and whipped her with a belt because she rebelled against a marriage to his brother.
Twenty-eight times her father, John Daniel Kingston, whipped her, she testified, before she apparently passed out.On Wednesday, 1st District Judge Ben Hadfield ordered Kingston, 43, a prominent member of a Utah polygamist group, to stand trial for the May 24 assault on the girl.
Kingston faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
The girl's voice cracked throughout her testimony and she cried openly when Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson asked her to identify the man who hit her. She pointed to Kingston.
The girl said she had been married the previous October to her uncle, David O. Kingston, 32, a union arranged by her father. She told police she was David Kingston's 15th wife.
During the two-hour preliminary hearing, the girl said she had run away twice, most recently two days before the alleged beating. The next night she returned to her mother's Murray home and the mother called her husband.
The girl said her father ordered her into his truck and they drove north. At one point, she said, he reached over, pulled her to him by her hair and slugged her in the face.
"I could taste the blood from my nose," she said. "He said, `You can leave, but you can never come back.' "
After driving some 80 miles to the ranch near Plymouth, her father ordered her into a barn. "He told me to take off my jacket. He was taking off his belt. He said he was going to give me 10 licks for every wrongdoing. He said there were three," the girl testified.
The girl suffered a swollen nose, cut lip and deep bruises on her arms, buttocks and legs, according to testimony. Photographs of the injuries were introduced at the hearing.
The girl said she did not remember leaving the barn, but woke up the next morning on a couch in the living room of a woman who former members say is one of John Daniel Kingston's 20-plus wives.
The girl said she walked seven miles to a service station and called police. She since has been placed in foster care.
Wednesday's hearing was attended by about 10 members of Tapestry of Polygamy, a support group of disaffected former polygamists. Some shed tears as the girl testified.