Lehi police investigating Utah polygamists featured in new TV show

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  • smarty pants Herriman, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 9:49 p.m.

    I say it's better to have a man that it's being responsible for his wife and women and children than I guy who just doesn't make a commitment. How many children are around fatherless? I don't think polygamy it's the best situation for the guy, the wives and children, but if at the end of the day he is bringing the bacon and trying to keep his big family together what's wrong with that? If they are happy, what's the big deal. At the end TLC is getting what they want: Publicity and ratings.

  • Old Navy Provo, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 8:23 p.m.

    While I don't personally condone polygamy, I firmly believe in live and let live.

    This is NOT the oppressive FLDS version of polygamy. These people are educated, modern, happy, and living life in the manner of their choice. They are also gainfully employed and not leaching off the government unlike those in Colorado City. There are no child brides or any apparent abusive relationships.

    Whatever their motives, it took great courage to come out and agree to do this TV show.

  • Bethanymom Murray, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 5:24 p.m.

    Snowman: I have not watched the show, nor do I plan to watch it. I rarely watch TV.

    However my argument stands. What you choose to do behind CLOSED DOORS is your business. Inviting a TV crew into your house moves your actions from a private area (i.e. closed doors), into a public area. As I tell my kids, even if you didn't know your choice would this particular consquence, you are still responsible for the consequences of your actions.

    The Lehi police acknowledge they had no interests in this family until people called to complain. How did people know about them?? 'Cause they went on TV.

    If they had not chosen to put Utah on the map, once again, for Polygamy/Bigamy, I would have been very happy to continue to ignore them and their "unique lifesyle choice".

    A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person. Utah Code Ann. 76-7-101(1) (2003).

    I would argue that their use of the termonology sister wives indicates that they consider themselves to be married. Therefore they are breaking the law.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 4:09 p.m.

    Bethanymom: were you forced to watch it?

    CSwen: What criminal act are they committing? Lots of criminals in prison profit from writing books.

  • Question Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 3:15 p.m.

    They seem like a nice family, so I hate to see the father and husband removed from the home and put in jail, but that's what they did to Tom Greene for doing the same thing. If they prosecute one they need to prosecute it every time... Right?

    I guess you can't prosecute them for bigammy if there is only 1 legal marriage though... Right?

  • charlie91342 Sylmar, CA
    Sept. 28, 2010 2:20 p.m.

    this is not bigamy nor polygamy. it is a guy with a wife and two live-in girlfriends (plus a plan for another one.)

    Nothing they are doing breaks the law. why are you all so confused about that?

    I think you're upset that the guy would do that and you think it's "immoral" and therefore it MUST be illegal. but not everything you find "immoral" is illegal. In fact, most of it isn't.

    welcome to the 21st century. next you will start quoting some end-of-days scripture. but just to reemphasize:

    they are doing nothing illegal.
    they are not bigamists nor polygamists.

    that's why they won't get prosecuted. and they shouldn't be prosecuted. they have done nothing wrong. (I don't condone their lifestyle any more than I condone the gay lifestyle. but it's a free country, people. and if it doesn't harm anyone then it should be fine to do. just like gay marriage. none of my business and harms no one so just mind your own business and leave people alone.)

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 2:16 p.m.

    Utah is sensative to polygamy. It is a part of our heritage. Like many states, counties, and cities,... we as society pick and choose the laws we enforce and the one's we ignore! Appears many in this state hope for the "ingore" part!

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Sept. 28, 2010 2:15 p.m.

    There are two sides to every story...
    Yes, it is illeagal and should be prosecuted as such.
    The LDS church to my understanding stop it because it became a law of the land not because it was wrong.
    As a single sister in the church I have often wondered about my other single sisters. I have been married for short time and had the blessing of having a child in this life. I know all of the joy and heartach that comes with marraige.
    There are so many lonely LDS women out there who so want to be married to enjoy what so many married women take for granted... but there are just not enough good LDS men to go around for everyone.
    Maybe if you took the "he is a horrible sexual man" out of the equasion and looked to see how many more women could enjoy a relationship with a man and have children honorably then maybe you see that there is more to this story then the man getting all the sex that he can.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 1:15 p.m.

    those of you defending the bigamists, take heart. Once gay marriage is legal, it'll be trivial to change the marriage laws to include anyone and everyone with a lawyer.

  • CSwen West Point, Utah
    Sept. 28, 2010 12:29 p.m.

    I don't necessarily believe we should waste a lot of resources going after polygamist but last I heard its not legal to profit off of a criminal act. I don't suspect this family is putting themselves on TLC for free. I reserve the right to be wrong, and if so please let me know.

  • Mom of 2 Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 12:11 p.m.

    Okay, I've seen this asked several times in these comments, but nobody has given an answer yet. How exactly can you prosecute somebody for bigamy if he's only legally married to one wife? Essentially what they have as an "open marriage," which is not illegal.

  • JaggedAlanisM Southern, Utah
    Sept. 28, 2010 12:01 p.m.

    Laws where made to stop people from harming abusing and inflicting undue hardships on others....not to raid on petty "crimes". Let's fill our jails and prisons with more "criminals" HURTING NO ONE!Give me break!Go after the REAL CRIMINALS that are in fact ruining other peoples lives!

    FACT: The 5 of them are happily consenting ADULTS...

    Do NOT accept public assistance

    Do NOT have criminal records

    Do NOT abuse their children

    Do NOT use religion to "push" their lifestyle" (which in fact all it is is one of the many different American lifestyles)


    Love each other

    Love their children

    And also pay taxes for welfare abusing felons, druggies, murderers, etc.


  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 11:50 a.m.

    I have generally come out and have been against illegals. I feel the same way about polygamist. They are breaking the law by having more than one wife. I believe in freedom of religion, however the constitution was set up to protect groups of people from one another, and through this process it was decided that people were being hurt and affected by this practice, so, in order to protect those that couldn't protect themselves this practice was outlawed(of course this is way oversimplified explanation).

    I also agree with earlier comments. If the definition of marriage does not stay and mean a man and woman, then the meaning of marriage is corrupted and these people will fall in the same category of marriage as so called gays, lesbians, people who marry their animals, women marrying more than one man, a man marrying more than one woman.

  • Tami Herriman, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 11:48 a.m.

    I think if the Lehi authorities have so much time on their hands that they can pursue this, the citizens of Lehi ought to demand that the police budget be cut and they be given a tax rebate! Who is this hurting as long as there are no 14 year old "brides" and no child abuse?

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    Reasonable Person | 6:39 p.m.
    ...I don't care if these people live together, AS LONG AS they don't hurt the children, they don't take government money due to the size of the household, and as long as there's only one legal marriage.


    And after 26 years of marriage, I can't understand it either.

    I've longed joked with co-workers when asked if I had more than one wife - I already had one too many.

    And if they wanted another one, would they please take mine!

    --- BTW, that is still just a joke -- dear.....

  • bye bye butterfly Murray, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 10:51 a.m.

    @ Snowman.

    Of course God created everyone. Then men had this "bright idea" to take on other wives. Sarah even had this "bright idea" to give her maid to Abraham to bear them a child because she didn't want to be patient and wait for God to keep His promise to her to bear a child despite her old age.

    What happened? Sarah's maid, Hagar, did have a son, Ishmael. Hagar got a snotty attitude towards Sarah, Sarah beat her and Hagar ran away. God spoke to Hagar and told her to go back. Hagar reluctantly did.

    Sarah finally had a son, Isaac. She then insisted Abraham cast out Hagar and Ishmael. He did, the little wimp, and Ishmael's and Isaac's children have hated each other ever since. One small example of what can happen when a man tries to have more than one wife.

    I agree with Ethel. The sanctity of marriage, the trust, and the faithfulness to one's spouse is corrupted by polygamy.

  • Bethanymom Murray, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 10:47 a.m.

    Reasonable Person: I have to confess that up until a friend of mine facebooked that she had watched the first episode, I wasn't aware that they were even making the show. It is not unreasonable to assume that not everyone is aware of evey new show coming out on TV.

    JCmom & RG: my guess is the reason the AG's office has taken a wait and see approach is that they are not going to prosecute the polygamy charges. They will only prosecute if there are other charges that come of the investigation.

    While I don't agree with the lifestyle, for cultural, and religious reasons. If they had kept they relationship(s) behind closed doors, then it's none of my business. They make it my business when they put it on TV.

    I think that you have to be monumentally stupid to go on TV talking about your illegal activity/lifestyle and not expect to get a visit from your friendly local law enforcement officials. Even TLC knew that. Even TLC saw this coming. Why else would they contact the AG's office if they didn't anticipate an investigation because of the show?

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 10:24 a.m.

    I'm certainly not in favor of their actions, but as a neighbor I can say that these people are good to their children. From our vantage there is nothing that shows abuse. If the AG office decides there is merit in pursuing a case then we would support that, but until the law is involved we get nowhere pitting us against them. We're all benefited by strong families, even in unagreeable circumstances.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    bye bye butterfly: God created everyone.

    Ghostwriter: It is not illegal for a man to have intercourse and children with more than one woman. If it were there would be an awful lot of men in prison.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Sept. 28, 2010 9:42 a.m.

    "having intercourse with the others and having children while in wedlock is what is illegal."

    Ghostwriter - can you cite the law that makes that illegal?

  • Ethel Lindon, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 9:35 a.m.

    Where is the sanctity of marriage in this kind of arrangement? My2cents has it exactly right.
    "The laws of the country have all but stricken down marriages as subjective acts of companionship. We have turned our backs on the sanctity of marriage and legalized polygamy, adultery, unfettered premarital cohabitation and even children outside of marriages. Family is no longer a sanctified or a recognized institution of trust, the laws make it illegal to keep secrets and trust in a family."

    The Family Proclamation to the World is for everyone. As soon as they "get" it, the better. We are about to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Why are there no groups opposing the stand against polygamy and or any to make it legal?

  • Ghostwriter Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 8:51 a.m.

    As I understand it, he is breaking the bigamy law. though only "spiritually" married to the other women, having intercourse with the others and having children while in wedlock is what is illegal. All of that should be easy to prove, I am just sorry the AG does not care enough to prosecute it.

  • Walt Nicholes Orem, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 8:41 a.m.

    One of the great ironies of the prosecution of this type of polygamy is that a man who produces offspring with several women to whom he makes no claims of marriage is NOT prosecuted for doing so, but a man who claims that they are his "wives" IS prosecuted. Same number of kids - same burden on society.

    A review of the compelling government interest needs to be performed, and if there is still a compelling governmental interest then men in BOTH types of plural arrangement (with or without "marriage") should be equally prosecuted. Otherwise their affirmative defense is unequal protection (or prosecution) under the law.

    And similarly, if the compelling governmental interest is found, then couples living together without marriage should ALSO be prosecuted. (Although Lawrence vs. Texas would seem to preclude this.)

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    Sept. 28, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    They break the law, prosecute them to he maximum allowed. Respect for the law demands it. Either make it legal or prosecute those who are practicing this stuff.

  • bye bye butterfly Murray, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 8:19 a.m.

    Americans have a constitutional right to worship as they please, but also have to abide by laws we have to maintain justice and order.

    The Lehi police should indeed investigate this, though I doubt any charges will be filed.

    I feel for women who practice polygamy, though. Throughout Biblical history it was practiced. Every single time there were conflicts between the husband, wives, and their children. God created Adam & Eve, not Adam, Eve, Megan, and Allison.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Sept. 28, 2010 7:39 a.m.

    He isn't staying with them more than a couple nights a week. He did not divorce one to continue having marital relationship with the divorced spouse which I would consider fraud. He is in contact with all children. He is legally married to one.

  • SLCguy Murray, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 7:32 a.m.

    I've never really understood Polygamy. After 27 years of marriage, more often than not, one wife is one too many.

  • flatlander Omaha, NE
    Sept. 28, 2010 7:13 a.m.

    I am glad that all the violent crime has been solved in Lehi so the police have time on their hands to investigate.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Sept. 28, 2010 4:54 a.m.

    Here's what I don't understand; can someone please explain it for me? (Same sort of question as jcmom had above). The guy admits he is only legally married to the first wife. He has not deceived any of the others into thinking their marriages are legal. He just lives with them. Today, lots of people shack up and live together and have kids together without being married. He just happens to be living with several. So what exactly is illegal here? (Plus, none of them are underage). Don't get me wrong; I believe he is living in sin, but I'm talking about legalities here.

  • My2Cents Kearns, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 3:44 a.m.

    The laws on polygamy are outdated and no longer apply to the new non christian society. If some think that homosexuals and same sex marriages are okay and the law acknowledges them, then polygamy is no longer a crime. Polygamy laws have no basis or justification if you legalize other forms of illegal non religious marriages. Polygamy is a religious concept that is no longer valid in the legal system.

    The laws of the country have all but stricken down marriages as subjective acts of companionship. We have turned our backs on the sanctity of marriage and legalized polygamy, adultery, unfettered premarital cohabitation and even children outside of marriages. Family is no longer a sanctified or a recognized institution of trust, the laws make it illegal to keep secrets and trust in a family.

    What these changes have done is made marriages a thing of the past and meaningless in scope and legal status. Marriage is no longer recognized as a religious ritual, its a documented tax law benefit.

  • Cats Provo, UT
    Sept. 28, 2010 3:04 a.m.

    I, personally, have NO SYMPATHY for these people. They're living a lifestyle that is dishonest, immoral, illegal and damaging to their children. They are also giving their children a distorted understanding of relationships between men and women and teaching them to lie in order to cover up.

    I hope the State finds a way to prosecute them and they get NO benefit from this sick TV show.

    For some reason these guys always have these egos that are out of control. They think they are these alpha males that are entitled to have a lot of women. I hope this guy is prosecuted to the fullest extend possible under the law.

  • jcmom Sandy, UT
    Sept. 27, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    I'm sure he isn't legally married to more that one wife as that requires a marriage license. Nor is he able to claim more that one wife on his taxes, etc. So how is it illegal to be "spiritually" married to more than one woman if they are all over the legal age of consent?
    It seems we sure make a bigger deal out of this living arrangement than we do a lot of other equally bizarre "families" in the world today.

  • attentive Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 27, 2010 8:57 p.m.

    I'm still saying that anything illegal should be prosecuted and being married to more than one person has been illegal in the U.S. for a very long time. I think it's disappointing that a tv show would be made to flaunt a family breaking the law.

  • OgdenUte Ogden, UT
    Sept. 27, 2010 7:06 p.m.

    I always hear Utahn's make the point that illegal immigrants should be prosecuted, but rarely do you hear the same people pushing for polygamists to be prosecuted. Both are crimes! Isn't this a double standard? I'm glad to see Lehi doing something about polygamists.

  • Reasonable Person Layton, UT
    Sept. 27, 2010 6:39 p.m.

    "The Utah County Attorney's Office became aware of "Sister Wives" after receiving several phone calls Monday"

    Really? After months of publicity in local and national media?

    I don't care if these people live together, AS LONG AS they don't hurt the children, they don't take government money due to the size of the household, and as long as there's only one legal marriage.

    What I don't like about these people, is they're members of the Allred clan (AUB), a group which still believes that "blacks" shouldn't hold the LDS priesthood. Nor women, of course.