Tom Green (polygamist)
|Mormonism and polygamy|
Portrait of Ira Eldredge with his three wives: Nancy Black Eldredge, Hannah Mariah Savage Eldredge, and Helvig Marie Andersen Eldredge.
Thomas Arthur "Tom" Green (born 1948) is a Mormon fundamentalist in Utah who is a practitioner of plural marriage. After a high-profile trial, Green was convicted by the state of Utah on May 18, 2001, of four counts of bigamy and one count of failure to pay child support. This decision was upheld by the Utah State Supreme Court in 2004. He was also convicted of child rape, on the basis that one of his wives had his child at the age of 14, meaning that they had sex when she was only 13 years old. In total he served six years in prison and was released in 2007.
Green was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He served as a Mormon missionary in the church's Great Lakes Mission (Indiana and Michigan) from June 1967 to June 1969. In the 1980s, while in his thirties, Green left the LDS Church and converted to a type of Mormon fundamentalism which teaches that its adherents should practice plural marriage. The LDS church stopped allowing polygamy in the 1890s. He was to eventually take seven wives. He was also a one-time Apostle for the Righteous Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a fundamentalist group that split from the Apostolic United Brethren, another fundamentalist group.
Trial and conviction
The prosecution, led by Juab County Attorney David Leavitt, alleged that Green married teenagers, divorced them, and then collected the welfare payments they received as "single mothers" while he continued living with them. Described as "Utah's first high-profile bigamy case in half a century," Green's trial attracted substantial national attention and some international media coverage. His other wives also all refused to testify against him.
On June 24, 2002, Green was convicted of child rape for having sex with 13-year-old Linda Kunz, who is now his legal wife. Kunz, who refused to testify against Green at the trial, was born in 1972, and gave birth to her first child with Green in 1986. Green had four other wives and 35 children in all. Tom Green was sentenced to five years in prison for the first conviction, and five years to life in prison for the second conviction. While he was in jail, one of his wives reportedly left him and took their children with her. Green was released from prison on parole on August 7, 2007.
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- State v. Green, September 3, 2004, accessed March 22, 2006
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- village voice > film > Based on a True Story by Michael Atkinson
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- Mormon reaction to media coverage of Thomas Green and his trial