The HOPE Organization logo
 
 
Police Officer "Marries" a Child Bride
 
Rodney Hans Holm family
A Hildale, Utah/Colorado City, Arizona police officer had THREE wives; the last one he "married" when she was only 16 years old.  He was 32 years old at the time of marrying this child bride.   In Utah, this is a third-degree felony.  This poor girl was ORDERED by the religious "Prophet" to marry him.  Not only that, but she had to marry the man who was also married to her own sister.

In August 2003, he was convicted in Utah of bigamy and illegal sex with this teenage girl whom he had taken as a third wife.   Below are articles describing how one of "Hildale's Finest" was charged and tried in Utah for marrying this underage girl.

In July 2005, Rodney Hans Holm was indicted by a Mohave County Grand Jury on 3 counts of "Sexual Conduct with a Minor", all class 6 felonies.  This Arizona case was dismissed in August 2007 because the victim and her brother engaged in a blackmail attempt to get money from one of the leaders of the church.

These news articles are listed in chronological order.
 
 
Ruth Stubbs runs away from Polygamy
By Mike Watkiss
KTVK Channel 3 - Phoenix
Originally published February 6, 2002

A 19-year-old woman is on the run today, alleging that she suffered abuse at the hands of her police officer and polygamist husband.  She also claims she was abused by her husband's two other wives, one of whom is her sister.  Ruth Stubbs said that her marriage was arranged by fundamentalist religious leaders when she was 16 years old while she was living in the small town of Colorado City, which straddles the Arizona-Utah border.   Stubbs, who is staying with relatives in Phoenix, is also embroiled in a bitter custody battle with Holm over the couple's three children.   According to Stubbs, Holm has 20 children with three women.   Polygamy has been practiced in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hilldale, Utah, for nearly 100 years.  Thousands of people reportedly live in that community, a community that receives welfare benefits six times the national average for a city that size, according to an extensive study by the Salt Lake City Tribune.     Read more
 
 
Custody battle could become criminal case
19-year-old flees what she says is polygamous marriage, seeks custody of her two children
By Angie Parkinson
The Spectrum
Originally published April 17, 2002

St. George -- What is now a custody battle could turn into much more depending on the actions of the Washington County Attorney's Office.   Former Hildale resident Ruth Stubbs said she fled a polygamous marriage four months ago and is now fighting for custody of her two young children.   Stubbs said she was the third wife of Rodney Holm, member of a sect of the religion known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).  He is also a sworn police officer in both Utah and Arizona.   The first hearing in the custody case will be held May 2 in 5th District Court in St. George.   But some say another related matter should also be in court.   "This easily could be the next Tom Green, if they prosecute it," said attorney Mike Shaw, who is representing Stubbs pro bono in the custody case.     Read more
 
 
Judge OKs visitation rights for man married to multiple wives
By Angie Parkinson
The Spectrum
Originally published June 4, 2002

St. George -- Fifth District Judge James L. Shumate passed a unique judgment in a unique custody case Monday afternoon.   Rodney Holm, a member of of the religion known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, will be able to bring his children to his Hildale home for visits on a temporary basis.   That was the result of a nearly four-hour hearing in which Holm's attorney and the attorney for his former wife, Ruth Stubbs, volleyed arguments back and forth about who would be the best full-time parent.   The case is unique for many reasons, including the fact that Stubbs and Holm were never legally married.  They married in a spiritual ceremony in which she became Holm's third wife.  They now have two young children together, and Stubbs is eight months pregnant.     Read more
 
 
Polygamist Custody Dispute
KPNX-TV Channel 12 - Phoenix
Original broadcast June 4, 2002

A judge has given a polygamist man visitation rights to his children, with this caveat: He can't have sex with his second wife when the children he fathered with his third wife are in the home.   Monday's temporary ruling came during a custody dispute between Rodney Holm and his former wife, Ruth Stubbs of Phoenix.   Stubbs and Holm were never legally married, but she became his third wife in a spiritual ceremony.   Holm, a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be able to bring his children to his Hildale home for visits on a temporary basis, 5th District Judge James L. Shumate ruled.   Stubbs will keep custody of her two children in Phoenix.   Shumate stipulated that Holm is banned from having sex with his second wife while his children with Stubbs are visiting.   He may have relations with his first wife, to whom he is legally married, the judge said.     Read more
 
 
Religious rights don't supercede law
In Our View
The Spectrum
Originally published Wednesday, June 5, 2002

The issue of polygamy has been a cloud over our state since before its inception.   The banishment of the practice was an instrumental factor in Utah finally gaining statehood in 1896.   Since then, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have held to the practice of one woman marrying one man.  But some groups, including the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- with a sect in the Hildale-Colorado City area -- have continued to practice the lifestyle that allows for one man to have multiple wives.   Polygamy again is in the headlines, this time because of a custody battle between Rodney Holm, a police officer in the Hildale area, and his third wife, Ruth Stubbs, now 19 years old, who fled the sect for reasons that include her not wanting her children to grow up in such an environment.   On Monday, Judge James Shumate granted visitation rights to Holm, allowing the couple's children to visit him in his Hildale-area home.  Shumate did his best to balance the interest of the children.  They get to see their father, but with the stipulation that Holm not have sexual relations with his second wife while the children are with him. Read more
 
 
Polygamist's Custody Fight Raises Many Issues
By Adam Liptak
The New York Times
Originally published June 16, 2002

Until recently, Rodney Holm, a police officer, shared a five-bedroom home in Hildale, Utah, on the Arizona border, with his three wives and their 20 children.  Then Mr. Holm's third and youngest wife, Ruth Stubbs, left in December, with their two children.   Mr. Holm sued for custody of the children.  That gave rise to a legal battle infused not only with the usual wrenching accusations of abuse and neglect but also with serious questions about religious freedom, the sexual exploitation of teenagers by religious institutions and a law enforcement official's obligations to obey the law in his personal life.   Ms. Stubbs said she was ordered to marry Mr. Holm in 1998 by Rulon Jeffs, the leader of a breakaway Mormon sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-day Saints.     Read more
 
 
Secret charges filed against polygamist policeman
The Associated Press
Originally published October 6, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- State prosecutors have secretly filed criminal charges against a polygamist police officer in southern Utah, and a newspaper has sued to get access to the court documents.   The charging documents were sealed, at the request of the Utah Attorney General's Office, by 5th District Judge James L. Shumate, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday.   The paper filed suit in St. George on Friday, asking that the documents be made public.   The nature of the charges was unclear, though the accused, Rodney Holm, has been under investigation for bigamy and unlawful sex with a 16-year-old girl.   A spokesman for the Attorney General's Office would not comment on the sealed charges.   Holm is a police officer in the border towns of Hildale, Ariz. and Colorado City, Utah.  In a child-custody hearing earlier this year involving a former wife, Holm acknowledged marrying three women and fathering at least 21 children.     Read more
 
 
News Release
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
For Immediate Release
October 7, 2002
Contact Paul Murphy:   (801) 538-1892
pmurphy@utah.gov

CHARGES FILED AGAINST HILDALE HUSBAND AND WIFE
The Utah Attorney General's Office has charged Rodney Hans Holm with unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and bigamy.  The 36-year-old Hildale resident is facing four third degree felony counts for allegedly taking a 16-year-old girl as his third wife and fathering two of her children.  The defendant's legally recognized wife, Suzie Stubbs Holm, 36, has also been charged with two third degree felony counts for allegedly aiding and abetting the unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and bigamy.  Each third degree felony charge is punishable by zero-to-five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.  All defendants are presumed to be innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
 
 
Polygamist Cop Charged With Bigamy
The Associated Press
Originally published October 8, 2002

Salt Lake City -- A polygamist police officer has been charged with bigamy and illegal sex with a 16-year-old girl, according to documents unsealed Monday by Utah's attorney general.   Rodney H. Holm, 36, has three wives and 21 children, according to prosecutors and his own attorney.   One of the wives, a 16-year-old girl, is his legally recognized wife's younger sister.   She was wed to Holm in a spiritual ceremony in 1998, according to the court documents.  The documents charge the legally recognized wife, Suzie Stubbs Holm, with aiding and abetting her husband's illicit relationship with the 16-year-old.   The charges were filed last week, but the attorney general asked that they be kept secret until Friday because prosecutors were trying to arrange a way for Holm to surrender.     Read more
 
 
Anti-polygamists:
Prosecuting plural wives long overdue
By Patty Henetz
The Associated Press
Originally published October 8, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY - A polygamist's wife whose younger sister married her husband has been charged with abetting unlawful sexual conduct, an action anti-polygamy activists say was long overdue.   The Utah Attorney General's office on Friday charged Hildale, Utah, police officer Rodney H. Holm, 36, with bigamy and illegal sex with his wife's sister, Ruth Stubbs, who was then 16.   Suzie Stubbs Holm, 36, was charged with aiding and abetting the illicit relationship.   "It's outstanding and incredible this has happened," said Flora Jessop, a Phoenix anti-polygamy activist and former plural wife.  "I imagine there are going to be a lot of people who are going to be afraid now. Because there are so many underage girls married in that society."     Read more
 
 
Woman faces polygamy charges
By Patty Henetz
The Associated Press
Originally published October 15, 2002

Salt Lake City -- For apparently the first time in more than 100 years, Utah prosecutors are going after a woman on polygamy-related charges.   The woman, Suzie Stubbs Holm, 36, is part of a polygamous household in rural Utah.  But she is not directly charged with polygamy.  Instead, she is accused of getting her 16-year-old sister to marry into the household.   Holm was charged by Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff last week with abetting bigamy and illegal sex and could get up to 10 years in prison.   Holm's husband, Hildale police officer Rodney H. Holm, 36, was charged with illegally marrying the little sister.     Read more
 
 
Witness in bigamy trial called reluctant
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published November 24, 2002

ST. GEORGE The star witness against a polygamous couple charged with bigamy and sexual misconduct is not cooperating with state prosecutors, according to a document filed in 5th District Court.   The state has been unable to serve Ruth M. Stubbs, the former third wife of Rodney Holm and sister to Holm's legal wife, Suzie Holm, with a subpoena to appear in court on Tuesday for a scheduled preliminary hearing in the matter, a document filed Friday by the Utah Attorney General's Office states.   Rodney Holm is charged with three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old and one count of bigamy.  Suzie Holm is charged with one count each of aiding and abetting her husband with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and bigamy.  All charges are third-degree felonies punishable by zero to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.     Read more
 
 
Case against Holm will continue
Charges dropped against police officer's first wife
By Angie Parkinson
The Spectrum
Originally published December 12, 2002

St. George -- A 5th District Court judge's ruling Wednesday will allow the case against Rodney Holm, a Colorado City, Ariz., police officer, to go forward.  But charges against one of his wives were dismissed.   During a preliminary hearing, Judge G. Rand Beacham ruled that Holm stand trial on three felony counts -- two of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and one count of bigamy.   Charges against his first wife, Suzie Holm, were dismissed.  She was accused of aiding and abetting unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and bigamy, but Beacham said there was not enough evidence of her involvement to retain the charge.  Charges against both Rodney and Suzie Holm were based on his alleged sexual conduct with his third wife -- Ruth Stubbs, Suzie Holm's sister.   Rodney Holm opted to enter pleas of innocent on all charges Wednesday rather than wait for an arraignment hearing.  A one-week trial will be scheduled, probably for March or April.     Read more
 
 
Seizing the moment in court
Deseret Morning News editorial
Originally published Monday, August 4, 2003

The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning a Texas sodomy law has a number of opportunists knocking on courthouse doors, seeing how far they can get.  In Utah, the latest attempt comes from attorneys for Rodney Holm, a peace officer in southern Utah who is an admitted polygamist.   According to news reports, they are prepared to argue that charges against Holm should be dismissed because Utah's laws against polygamy and bigamy violate the right to freely exercise religion and seek to regulate the private conduct of individuals.   Nice try.   Lofty legal principles aside, the Holm case is a simple one involving allegations of unlawful sex with a minor.  Holm is charged with two counts involving a 16- year-old girl.  He was 32 at the time he allegedly entered a so-called "spiritual union" with the girl (at a time he already was legally married with someone else).   The Constitution allows for the free exercise of religion.  It does not, however, allow an older man to take advantage of a child in the name of religion.     Read more
 
 
S. Utah polygamy case moves ahead
Judge clears way for Holm's 5-day jury trial
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Wednesday, August 6, 2003

ST. GEORGE A 5th District judge has denied a motion to dismiss charges against a polygamist accused of bigamy and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old.   After reviewing a 73-page document filed last Thursday by attorneys for Rodney Holm, Judge G. Rand Beacham informed both sides of his decision during a conference call Tuesday.   The five-day jury trial against the 37-year-old Holm, a former peace officer in the twin towns of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah (both about 45 miles east of St. George), will begin Monday as planned, said Holm's attorney, Rod Parker.     Read more
 
 
Police officer faces sex charges
Jury selection begins for suspect accused of bigamy, unlawful sexual conduct with minor
By Debbie Hummel
The Associated Press
Las Vegas Review-Joural
Originally published Tuesday, August 12, 2003

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Attorneys began selecting jurors from more than 80 people Monday for the trial of a polygamous police officer charged with bigamy and having sex with a minor.   Rodney Holm, 37, is accused of having sex with Ruth Stubbs when she was 16. Stubbs said she was the man's third wife.   State law bans sexual relations involving 16- and 17-year-old teenagers when their partner is 10 or more years older, unless the couple is legally married.   Police say Holm was 32 when he took Stubbs as a "spiritual" wife, which is not a legal marriage.   He is a police officer in the border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., where most of the towns' residents are members of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.   About 80 potential jurors were called to the 5th District Courthouse for the trial.  That is about 25 more than usually called for local jury selection because of the high profile nature of the case, court bailiff Brett Lyman said.     Read more
 
 
'Spiritual wife' testifies
Stubbs affirms seeking marital union -- but not to Holm -- in bigamy case
By Rachel Olsen
The Spectrum
Originally published August 13, 2003

ST. GEORGE -- Ruth Stubbs, 21, testified Tuesday that she followed the advice of then Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Prophet Rulon Jeffs when she was told at 16 she should belong to Rodney Holm.   Stubbs also said that Holm, who was 32 at the time, had asked if the revelation received by the prophet was correct, but Stubbs affirmed Holm was a true follower of the religion.   They joined in spiritual "marriage" on Dec. 11, 1998.   The testimony came Tuesday during the trial against Holm, a Hildale resident.  The trial for the former Hildale-area police officer is ongoing in 5th District Court and scheduled to continue through the end of this week.   The state based charges against Holm -- two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and one count of bigamy -- on his alleged sexual conduct with his third wife, Stubbs.     Read more
 
 
Third wife testifies tearfully in trial
Holm charged with unlawful sexual conduct
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Wednesday, August 13, 2003

ST. GEORGE A tearful Ruth Stubbs testified in 5th District Court on Tuesday that she wanted to marry another man but instead became the third spiritual wife of polygamist Rodney Holm.   A jury of five women and four men, seated after attorneys for both sides whittled the jury pool down from a potential 82 jurors, listened quietly as state prosecutors began their case, which is scheduled to end Friday.   Holm is charged with two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old and bigamy, all third-degree felonies punishable by zero to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.  Utah law makes it a crime for someone 10 years older than a 16- or 17-year-old to have sexual relations with that person unless they are legally married.   "This is not a complex case.  It is a very simple, straightforward case," said prosecution co-counsel Paul Graf in his opening statement.   "The facts will be easy to apply to the law in this case.   This is something you'll find sad, even tragic.   The two children (born to the couple) are victims, and the bride herself was a child at the time of the marriage.  She was very much at risk."     Read more
 
 
The jury tainted, say Holm lawyers
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Thursday, August 14, 2003

ST. GEORGE Defense attorneys for Rodney Holm charged the state with putting polygamy on trial Wednesday, an accusation contested by both the prosecutors and the judge.   "The state put polygamy on trial during their opening statement.  If they said something knowing they can't prove it, then we have a case for mistrial for tainting the jury," said Rodney Parker, co-counsel for Holm, who is charged with bigamy and two third-degree felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old.     Read more
 
 
Defense rests in Holm trial
Request for experts to explain religion denied
By Rachel Olsen
The Spectrum
Originally published August 14, 2003

ST. GEORGE -- Jury members will receive instructions and hear closing arguments today before beginning deliberations in the case against Rodney Holm, a former police officer in the Hildale area.   The state based charges against Holm -- two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and one count of bigamy -- on his alleged sexual conduct with his third wife, Ruth Stubbs.  Holm pleaded innocent to the charges at his preliminary hearing Dec. 11.   Before the defense rested Wednesday -- after calling only one witness to the stand, David Stubbs, Ruth Stubbs' father -- the issue of whether to call three additional defense witnesses was discussed.  Defense attorney Rodney Parker said his expert witnesses would be needed to explain religious concepts and deeper understanding of a "door" he said the prosecution left wide open -- the door of polygamy.   "Polygamy is not on trial.  Mr. Holm is on trial," said Assistant Attorney General Kristine Knowlton.     Read more
 
 
Guilty: Jury convicts polygamist ex-police officer in sex case
Defense plans to appeal based on privacy issues
By Rachel Olsen
The Spectrum
Originally published Friday, August 15, 2003

ST. GEORGE -- A jury found Rodney Holm guilty Thursday on all three charges against the former police officer of the Hildale-Colorado City area.   The panel of five women and three men deliberated for an hour and 40 minutes before finding Holm guilty on two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and one count of bigamy.   The state based the charges against Holm on his alleged sexual conduct with his third wife, Ruth Stubbs.   Holm pleaded innocent to the charges at his preliminary hearing Dec. 11.   The case against Holm was the first to target a polygamist within an organized religious polygamist community since the raids on Short Creek in 1953.     Read more
 
 
Utah Polygamist Convicted of Illegal Sex
By Debbie Hummel
The Associated Press
Originally published August 14, 2003

St. George, Utah -- A police officer accused of bigamy and illegal sex with a girl he took as a third wife when she was just 16 was convicted by a jury Thursday.   Jurors ruled that Rodney Holm, an officer in the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., broke Utah law banning sexual relations involving 16- and 17-year-olds when their partner is 10 or more years older, unless the couple is legally married.   Holm, 37, was accused of having sex with Ruth Stubbs when she was 16.  He was 32 when he allegedly took Stubbs as a "spiritual" wife, which is not a legally recognized union.   He faces up to five years in prison on each count.     Read more
 
 
Ex-Hildale police officer found guilty of bigamy
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Friday, August 15, 2003

ST. GEORGE A jury found accused polygamist Rodney Holm guilty Thursday of charges of bigamy and unlawful sex with a minor, and attorneys on both sides of the highly publicized case subsequently predicted the conviction will not be the end of prosecuting crimes related to polygamy.   The jury of five women and three men deliberated for just over an hour and a half before returning the guilty verdict on one count of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sex with a minor 16 or 17 years old, all third-degree felonies.   A ninth juror was excused late Wednesday for personal reasons.   Sentencing for the former Hildale, Washington County, police officer, an admitted polygamist and member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is set for 3:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in 5th District Court.   "Mr. Holm is very disappointed.  He's just very quiet.  He has a lot of things to think about," said Rod Parker, one of Holm's attorneys, a few hours after the decision was read.   "But it's not over yet.  When this case is over, the state will find bigamy is no longer illegal in the state of Utah."     Read more
 
 
Religious freedom not target of efforts
The Arizona Republic
Originally published September 28, 2003

Ruth Stubbs was in love.  The 16-year-old wanted to marry a single man, and hoped her religious leader would give his blessing.  But Rulon Jeffs, the president and prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had other plans.  He told Ruth she was supposed to marry another man instead of her sweetheart - and that she would go to hell if she didn't.   The other man was Rodney Holm.  He was 32 years old, a police officer in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz.  He was also married to Ruth's sister - and another woman as well.  Despite that, the man responsible to uphold the law and ensure justice on the Utah-Arizona border took the underage girl as his third wife the next day.  The marriage was performed by Warren Jeffs, the current president of the FLDS Church.   Everyone living in the border towns knew about it.  But no one did anything about it.  No one, that is, until the Utah Attorney General's Office and the Arizona Attorney General's Office started working together to investigate and prosecute Holm for unlawful sex with a minor and bigamy.   This prosecution and conviction of Holm and others should not be viewed as an attack on religious beliefs.  The fight is against those who are committing crimes in these unique communities and getting away with it.    Read more
 
 
Ex-Officer Sentenced for Bigamy in Utah
The Associated Press
Originally published October 10, 2003

ST. GEORGE, Utah - A judge sentenced a former police officer to a year in jail for bigamy and illegal sex with a girl he took as a third wife when she was 16.   Rodney Holm, 37, also will be registered as a sex offender, the Attorney General's office said.   Defense attorney Rod Parker said he will appeal.   Holm was accused of having sex with Ruth Stubbs when she was 16.  He was 32 when he allegedly took Stubbs as a "spiritual" wife, which is not a legally recognized union.   Stubbs' older sister Suzie Holm, one of Holm's other wives, was charged last year with getting Stubbs to marry into the household.  Those charges were later dismissed.   Holm was an officer in Hildale, Utah, and nearby Colorado City, Ariz., where most residents are members of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He lost his officer certification after his conviction.   Utah men are rarely prosecuted for polygamy. There is only one other known case since the 1950s.
 
 
Bigamist gets nights, weekends in jail
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Saturday, October 11, 2003

ST. GEORGE Convicted bigamist Rodney Holm will spend nights and weekends in the Washington County jail for the next 12 months, and he will spend his days working to support his large family, a 5th District judge ruled Friday.   Holm, 37, was convicted in August of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old, all third-degree felonies.  Holm was recently decertified of his status as a police officer in Hildale, and Colorado City, Ariz.   Holm, who is legally married to one woman and "spiritually wed" to another, has 21 children.  He is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.   The FLDS church, headquartered in Hildale and Colorado City, teaches polygamy as a central tenet necessary to one's salvation.     Read more
 
 
Rodney Holm's sentence stayed
By Rachel Olsen
The Spectrum
Originally published Saturday, October 11, 2003

ST. GEORGE -- Rodney Hans Holm, with a stayed sentence, will serve one year in the Washington County jail on work release.   Fifth District Court Judge G. Rand Beacham sentenced Holm on Friday to no more than five years in the Utah State Prison on each of his three charges and ordered the sentence on each be served concurrently.   However, Beacham stayed that sentence on 36 months of probation, in addition to time served in the Washington County Jail on work release.   Beacham said he believed no sentence he could impose could deter Holm's religious convictions, nor should any government ruling make a person change religious convictions.   On Aug. 14, after deliberating for an hour and 40 minutes, a jury found Holm guilty of all three charges levied against him -- two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and one count of bigamy.     Read more
 
 
Bigamist wants his term stayed
Holm seeking freedom until appeals used up
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Thursday, October 23, 2003

ST. GEORGE Convicted bigamist Rodney Holm, a former police officer in the twin polygamist towns of Hildale and Colorado City, Ariz., wants to get out of jail.   Holm's attorney, Rod Parker, filed a motion for release with the 5th District Court in St. George last week, seeking an issuance of a certificate of probable cause, which would free Holm until his appeals are exhausted.   "A three-judge panel will hear the appeal, but we don't know yet when the judges will be seated," Parker said Tuesday.   Utah Assistant Attorney General Kristine Knowlton, who prosecuted the case, said she is in the process of responding to the motion.   "We object, obviously," said Knowlton, who declined further comment.     Read more
 
 
Ruling due next week on stay for Holm
Judge to write decision pending bigamy appeal
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Friday, November 7, 2003

ST. GEORGE Former police officer Rodney Holm, convicted in August of bigamy and unlawful sex with a minor 16 or 17 years old, won't know for several days if his jail sentence is stayed pending an appeal.   Fifth District Court Judge G. Rand Beacham said he would file a written decision on the request to release Holm sometime next week.   Holm was sentenced to spend one year in the county jail with work release, to undergo a psychosexual evaluation, to obey all laws and to spend 200 hours in community service.   "I'm going to do that (file a written decision) for a couple of important reasons," Beacham said.  "First, too many news media accounts of this case have been incomplete, inaccurate and misleading.   Second, a written decision is better understood."     Read more
 
 
Bigamist fails in bid for stay of sentence
Holm's attorney plans an appeal of the decision
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Saturday, November 15, 2003

ST. GEORGE A request to stay the jail sentence of convicted bigamist Rodney Holm until his appeals are exhausted has been denied by a 5th District judge.   A jury convicted Holm on Aug. 14 of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old, all third-degree felonies.   He was sentenced to a year in the county jail with immediate work release, 36 months probation and to 200 hours of community service.   The conviction stems from Holm's religious marriage to his third wife, Ruth Stubbs, when she was 16 and he was 32.   Stubbs was pregnant when she left Holm and sought custody of their two children.  Holm, the father of 23 children, is legally married to Stubbs' older sister, Suzie, and has a second spiritual wife, Wendy.     Read more
 
 
Holm stay-of-sentence motion denied
Former Hildale police officer's conviction appealed
By Rachel Olsen
The Spectrum
Originally published Sunday, January 25, 2004

ST. GEORGE -- According to the Utah Attorney General's office, the Utah Supreme Court has ruled Rodney Holm will serve his sentence during the appeal of his conviction.   Holm's attorney, Rod Parker, appealed the 5th District Court's Nov. 15, 2003, denial of a motion to stay Holm's sentence, but was again denied Tuesday by the state's highest court.   Laura Dupaix, assistant attorney general in the appellate division, said denials of appeal on such motions are not unusual.   On Oct. 11, 2003, 5th District Court Judge G. Rand Beacham sentenced Holm to no more than five years in Utah State Prison on each of his three charges to be served concurrently.  However, Beacham stayed the sentence, ordering Holm to instead serve 36 months probation and one year in the Washington County Jail on work release.   Holm, a former Hildale-area police officer and a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which teaches polygamy as a central tenet, was found guilty Aug. 14, 2003, of all three charges levied against him -- two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a 16- or 17-year-old and one count of bigamy.     Read more
 
 
Bigamist must stay in jail
By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Saturday, May 1, 2004

ST. GEORGE Convicted bigamist Rodney Holm, a former police officer in the twin polygamist towns of nearby Hildale, Washington County, and Colorado City, Ariz., will not get an early release date from jail, a 5th District judge ruled Friday.   Holm was convicted last year of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old, all third-degree felonies, and sentenced to a year in the county jail with work release privileges.  Holm was decertified, lost his job as a peace officer, and now works for the Colorado City streets department.   "He has been a model prisoner and a positive influence to others at the jail," said Holm's attorney, Rod Parker.  "He is entitled to be treated the same as anyone else when it comes to being rewarded for good behavior."  Judge G. Rand Beacham, however, was not swayed by a positive note provided by jail officials, outlining Holm's role as secretary of the jail's work release program and his supervisory position over jail cleaning crews.  Holm has always been expected to be on his best behavior while in jail, the judge said, denying the request for Holm's early release.     Read more
 
 
Holm free; sentence completed
Former Hildale officer still awaits hearing of appeal
By Rachel Olsen
The Spectrum
Originally published Friday, June 11, 2004

ST. GEORGE -- Former police officer Rodney Holm completed his time in jail Wednesday, but the first brief in the appeal of Holm's case won't be filed until some time this month.   Holm's case in the Fifth District Court occurred last August.  A jury convicted him of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old, all third-degree felonies.  Holm lives in the Hildale-Colorado City area polygamous community and is a follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints faith, which teaches polygamy in its doctrine.   He was sentenced to a year in the Washington County jail with work release privileges, a sentence which began three days after his Oct. 10 sentencing.   Holm was released Wednesday for time served, receiving credit for good time.   Holm's attorney, Rod Parker, filed in October for a motion to stay the jail sentence until the appeals process was complete, however he was denied.     Read more
 
 
Polygamist policeman completes jail sentence before appeal heard
The Associated Press
Originally published June 11, 2004

ST. GEORGE, Utah - Polygamist and former police officer Rodney Holm has completed his jail sentence for bigamy and sex with a minor.   Soon now, the Utah Supreme Court will begin considering whether his conviction was just.   Holm was convicted last August and was sentenced to a year in the Purgatory Correctional Facility.   He had been a policeman in the polygamist communities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah, but was decertified following his conviction.  He is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which preaches polygamy as a central tenet.   Holm, 37, has two wives and 22 children.  His conviction stems from his union with a third wife, Ruth Stubbs, who was 16 when they were married in a church ceremony.   Holm was released from jail Wednesday, receiving credit for good time.   His attorney, Rod Parker, asked the Utah Supreme Court last year to stay the jail sentence pending appeal, but his motion was turned down.   "It's a little frustrating.   This is why (we) filed a motion for a stay - there was no way the appeal would be decided before (Holm) served his time," Parker said.   Holm and Parker still hope to get the conviction reversed.     Read more
 
 
Polygamist Argues Polygamy is a Constitutional Right
The Associated Press
Originally published July 2, 2004

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- The attorney for a former police officer convicted of bigamy and illegal sex with an underage girl has filed a brief with the Utah Supreme Court arguing that polygamy is a constitutional right.   Rodney Holm, a former police officer in the polygamous community of Hildale, was found guilty in August and sentenced to serve a year in jail.   In a 115-page brief, attorney Rodney Parker wrote that monogamy was the minority way of live worldwide, and that critics of polygamy overstate its problems.   "Current demographics, domestic relations law, and religious diversity all accomodate plural marriage," Parker wrote.     Read more
 
 
Policeman: Polygamy is constitutional
It's a historic success, officer claims in appeal of convictionIt's a historic success, officer claims in appeal of conviction
LAW OF THE LAND
WorldNetDaily.com - Washington, D.C.
Originally published July 05, 2004

Does polygamy have a place in today's society?  Yes, says a former Utah police officer convicted of sex offenses in a town in which more than half of his ex-colleagues are practitioners of polygamy.  Hildale's Rodney Holm says plural marriage is a historic and current success.  In a 115-page brief filed with the Utah Supreme Court, an attorney for former Holm argues the practice of polygamy is a constitutional right that never produced the social ills claimed by its opponents.  And, the brief says, monogamy is the minority way of life worldwide.  "Current demographics, domestic relations law, and religious diversity all accommodate plural marriage," attorney Rodney Parker wrote.  An eight-month investigation by the state of Utah has found more than half of the police officers in the southern town of Hildale practice polygamy that is, having more than one spouse.  He points out there is a broad range of lifestyles in the United States and only two-thirds of children under 18 live in the traditional two-parent household.  With the growing divorce and remarriage rate, polygamy -- in a serial, rather than concurrent, form -- is commonplace, Parker says.  In addition, more and more unmarried couples are living together, he says, according to a report in the Salt Lake City Tribune.  "Popular departure from traditional marriage has made our domestic laws on cohabitation and fornication anachronistic," Parker writes.  "These laws are not enforced against those practicing new lifestyles, but are asserted as weapons in this case against those living a traditional, family-grounded, religious-based lifestyle. This is ironic."     Read more
 
 
Religion offers no excuse for breaking law
In Our View
The Spectrum
Originally published Wednesday, July 7, 2004

There's a double-edged sword to a former Hildale police officer's legal argument that polygamy is a constitutional right.   The legal brief would have had a lot more credibility if it had not been filed on behalf of a man who was convicted of having illegal sex with an underage girl.   The story of Rodney Holm, a then-32-year-old police officer who was sentenced last August to a year in jail for his union with a 16-year-old girl, is one of the least worthy to support the efforts of those who wish to decriminalize polygamy.   Everything that is wrong about the practice can be found in the Holm case, where a man, sworn to uphold the law, took an underage child half his age as his wife.     Read more
 
 
Polygamy Case to Go Before Supreme Court
The Spectrum
Originally published January 31, 2005

The Utah Supreme Court on Thursday will hear the appeal of Rodney Holm's case, a former Hildale police officer convicted of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 of 17 years of age.   Holm's case, involving the 1998 marriage of Holm to his then-16-year-old sister-in-law, was heard in August 2003 in the Fifth District Court.  Holm is from the Hildale-Colorado City area, a polygamous community, and is a follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints faith, which teaches polygamy in its doctrine.
 
 
A.G. FIGHTS EX-HILDALE POLICE OFFICER'S APPEAL
News Release
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
Originally published January 31, 2005

For Immediate Release
January 31, 2005
Contact
Paul Murphy:
(801) 538-1892

The Utah Attorney General's Office will ask the Utah Supreme Court to uphold the convictions of former Hildale Police Officer Rodney Holm.  The 32-year-old defendant was convicted of two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and one count of bigamy.   On December 11, 1998, Holm took his 16-year-old sister-in-law, Ruth Stubbs, as his third wife.  According to court testimony, Stubbs was directed to marry Holm by Rulon Jeffs, the past president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Warren Jeffs, the current FLDS president, performed the marriage the next day.  By age 18, Stubbs had two children with Holm.   The former police officer admits to marrying his legal wife's younger sister but is challenging the constitutionality of both laws involved in his convictions.  Here are some of the issues being raised in the appeal:
  • The terms "cohabit" and "purport to marry" in the bigamy statute are unconstitutionally vague.
  • The Lawrence v. Texas ruling gives the defendant the right to marry more than one wife or have sex with a minor.
  • Utah's bigamy statute violates the First Amendment and unfairly discriminates against religious polygamists.
    Read more
 
 
Utah Supreme Court to hear Holm's appeal
By Rachel Olsen
The Spectrum
Originally published February 1, 2005

ST. GEORGE -- A year and a half after conviction, with his sentence served, Rodney Holm, a former Hildale police officer convicted of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old will have his case heard before the Utah Supreme Court on Thursday.   Holm's case -- involving the 1998 marriage of Holm to his third wife, his then-16-year-old sister-in-law -- was heard in August 2003 in the 5th District Court in St. George.  A jury convicted him, a judge sentenced him in October 2003 and Holm completed his time in June, receiving credit for good time.   Holm, 38, is from the Hildale-Colorado City area, a polygamous community, and is a follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints faith, which teaches polygamy in its doctrine.   Holm's attorney, Rod Parker, said he hopes the appeal will raise the important issues to help officials see polygamy as Parker does -- a constitutionally protected relationship.   He is not asking the court to recognize the institution as a legal marriage, only that from the privacy standpoint it would be a secured relationship, Parker said.   "There's a lot of people in Utah practicing polygamy and they need to come to terms with that," he said in June.     Read more
 
 
Could Polygamy Be Decriminalized?
By Ben Winslow
KSL NewsRadio 1160
Originally broadcast February 3, 2005

(KSL News) -- Utah's highest court is considering decriminalizing polygamy.   Today the State Supreme Court justices questioned the constitutionality of Utah's bigamy law.   Assistant Attorney General Laura Dupaix argued against decriminalizing polygamy.   "The bigamy statute prohibits multiple marriages at the same time.   Marriage is a public institution, it's not private sexual conduct."   The court took up the case of Rodney Holm, the Southern Utah police officer who was convicted of bigamy for having three wives.   Holm's lawyer Rod Parker says, "We're not seeking to reconfigure the institution of marriage.  We're not seeking civil recognition for polygamous marriages.  We're simply seeking to have the conduct of these people decriminalized."  Parker also argues that polygamy is a religious freedom.
 
 
Supreme Court questions Utah bigamy law in case against officer
By Travis Reed
KUTV.com
Originally broadcast February 3, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Utah Supreme Court justices pounded state attorneys with questions Thursday in a convicted polygamist's appeal, suggesting at least some doubt over the state's 100-year-plus ban on the practice of plural marriage.   Rodney Holm, a former police officer in the polygamous community of Hildale, was convicted of bigamy and illegal sex with a teenage girl that he had taken as a third wife.  His lawyer, Rodney Parker, argued Thursday that polygamy is essential to Holm's religion, and barring him from practicing it violates his First Amendment rights.   Polygamy is among the teachings of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith.   But the practice was abandoned by the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1890 as the Utah territory sought statehood.   Still, it remains a prickly issue.  It's believed that tens of thousands in Utah and more than 30,000 across the West continue the practice, which the religion canonizes as the highest form of religious exaltation.   Many of them are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who live in the isolated twin border towns of Hildale and Colorado City, Ariz.   "It's a large group of people, and your decisions in this case should not be based on stereotypes and anecdotal evidence ... .   That's all the state has," Parker told the court.     Read more
 
 
Bigamy law debated
Justices ask if statute should be used to prosecute polygamists
By Geoffrey Fattah
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Friday, February 4, 2005

Justices with the Utah Supreme Court questioned Thursday whether state prosecutors should use Utah's bigamy statute to go after polygamists a key law used to go after those who practice the controversial way of life.   Justices have also called into question whether the passage in Utah's constitution banning polygamy, should be revisited, given modern changes in attitudes toward various kinds of sexual relationships.   In a lengthy hearing, the attorney for former Hildale police officer Rodney Holm, who was prosecuted for taking his 16-year-old sister-in-law as his third "spiritual" wife, argued before the state's high court that prosecutors are selectively targeting polygamists using the bigamy statute because of their religious beliefs.   "Non-religious actors are not targeted by law enforcement by this law," said attorney Rodney Parker, pointing to the various residents who live in non-married relationships.   "Holm is not seeking legal recognition of his relationship or change the institution of marriage."   Parker said Holm, who is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a polygamist group lead by Warren Jeffs believes it is his constitutional right to practice his religion, which includes plural marriage.     Read more
 
 
Utah Supreme Court hears polygamy appeal
By Rachel Olsen
The Spectrum
Originally published Friday, February 4, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Supreme Court on Thursday heard the appeal of former Hildale police officer Rodney Holm, who is challenging the state's 100-plus-year-old prohibition on polygamy.   Holm is a follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which teaches polygamy as part of its doctrine.  The court's decision in this case could eventually affect the many individuals in Utah who practice polygamy as part of their religion, said Rod Parker, Holm's attorney.   Holm's case -- involving the 1998 marriage of Holm to his third wife, his then-16-year-old sister-in-law -- was originally heard in August 2003 in 5th District Court in St. George.   A jury convicted him of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years of age.  A judge sentenced him in October 2003, and Holm, now 38, completed his jail time in June after receiving credit for good behavior.   At the Supreme Court on Thursday, Parker argued that state prosecutors focused only on those breaking the law while practicing their religion.   Assistant Utah Attorney General Laura Dupaix said Thursday that Parker's claim that the state's prosecution is religiously motivated was unfounded.  Dupaix said the state prosecutes bigamist who traditionally or untraditionally marry minors.     Read more
 
 
High court cases not about religion
By Todd Seifert
The Spectrum
Originally published Sunday, February 6, 2005

Two recent Utah Supreme Court cases have put polygamy back in the spotlight -- that is, if the controversial topic ever exited the stage.   Early last week, the state's highest court upheld polygamist Tom Green's conviction on child-rape charges involving a 13-year-old girl.   Later in the week, justices heard arguments in the Rodney Holm appeal.  A jury convicted the former Hildale police officer of bigamy and of having sex with his then-16-year-old spiritual wife when Holm was 32 years old.   The attorneys for Green and Holm did an admirable job of arguing their cases.  They raised questions regarding jurisdiction and other factors in an attempt to clear their clients.   But one of the most fascinating arguments is the issue of prosecuting people for practicing their religious beliefs.  That rationale provokes some thought because all of us hold tight to the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.  None of us wants the government telling us what to do, especially regarding faith and beliefs.   It's true that the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- to which Holm belongs -- steps outside the norm with the tenet of polygamy.     Read more
 
 
Utah Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Polygamy Case
Arrested husband claims U.S. Supreme Court decision indicates right to polygamy.
By Anne F. Downey, Esq.
Concerned Women for America - Washington, DC
Originally published February 15, 2005

Did the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned a Texas law against homosexual sodomy, open the door to polygamy?  On February 3, 2005, the Utah Supreme Court heard arguments in a shocking case that raises this issue.  The case began in 2002 with the arrest of Rodney Holm, a police officer living in Hildale, Utah, near the Arizona border.  Hildale and neighboring Colorado City, Arizona, have a large population of polygamists.  Many, like Holm, are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), an offshoot of the Mormon religion that openly supports polygamy.  The main LDS church disavowed polygamy in 1890.  Police arrested Holm on charges of bigamy and sex with a minor to whom he was not legally married.  The arrest followed his admission in a custody lawsuit that, at age 32, he impregnated 16-year-old Ruth Stubbs, his common-law "spiritual wife," who is the younger sister of Holm's first and only lawful wife, Suzie Stubbs Holm.  Besides the legal marriage to Suzie and the "spiritual marriage" to Ruth, Holm had another common-law "spiritual wife." He has 21 children by the three women.   The prosecution has also charged Suzie with abetting her husband's bigamy and illegal sex, apparently the first time in more than 100 years that Utah has prosecuted a woman on polygamy-related charges.  The bigamy charge was later dropped when Ruth refused to testify against Suzie.  It is reported that the union of Ruth and Rodney was at the direction of the Fundamentalist Church leadership.     Read more
 
 
Polygamist Appears in Court
The Spectrum
Originally published February 25, 2005

At least for now, former Hildale police officer Rodney Holm will continue under supervised probation while the judge considers matters brought up Thursday in a review hearing.   Adult Probation and Parole requested a premature and successful end to Holm's supervised probation, citing his good conduct and completion of different requirements.   Holm's case involving the 1998 marriage of Holm to his third wife, his then-16-year-old sister-in-law was originally heard in August 2003 in 5th District Court in St. George.   Holm is a follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which teaches polygamy as part of its doctrine.
 
 
Convicted bigamist still living with two women, state argues
The Associated Press
KVOA.com
Originally broadcast February 25, 2005

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Utah authorities are accusing a former police officer convicted of bigamy of violating his parole because he continues to live with two women.   While the state gathers information for a judge on that charge, state prosecutors argued during a parole hearing for 38-year-old Rodney Holm that he should remain on probation.   That's despite a parole officer's recommendation that Holm's probation be ended early.   Holm was convicted in August 2003 of felonies including bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old.   The charges against Holm stemmed from his spiritual marriage to his third wife, Ruth Stubbs.   Stubbs was 16 at the time of the church-sanctioned ceremony and Holm was 32.   Holm had served as a police officer in the polygamous communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.
 
 
Former Hildale Officer Remains on Probation
The Associated Press
KSL.com
Originally broadcast February 25, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A former Hildale police officer convicted of bigamy and illegal sex with an underage girl will remain on probation -- at least for now.   Yesterday, Rodney Holm was in court for a review hearing.   Adult Probation and Parole requested Holm being taken off probation, citing his good conduct and completion of different requirements.   However, a judge ruled Holm must continue under supervised probation while he reviews his case.   Holm was found guilty back in August of 2003 and was sentenced to a year in jail and probation.  His conviction stemmed from his union with his third wife, who was 16 at the time.   Holm is a follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which teaches polygamy as part of its doctrine.
 
 
Convicted bigamist still living with two women
The Associated Press
Provo Daily Herald
Originally published February 26, 2005

ST. GEORGE -- State authorities accused a former police officer convicted of bigamy of continuing to live with two women, which should be a parole violation.   While the state gathers information for a judge on that charge, state prosecutors argued during a parole hearing for Rodney Holm, 38, on Thursday that he should remain on probation, despite a parole officer's recommendation that Holm's probation be ended early.   Holm was convicted in August 2003 of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old, all third-degree felonies.   The charges against Holm stemmed from his spiritual marriage to his third wife, Ruth Stubbs. Stubbs was 16 at the time of the church-sanctioned ceremony, Holm was 32.   Holm was already legally married to one woman and had a second wife, whom he had also married in a religious ceremony.   Stubbs and Holm had three children and she left the family months before he was criminally charged.   Assistant Utah Attorney General Kristine Knowlton said during Thursday's hearing that one of the probation conditions placed on Holm is that he obey all laws.   But she said Holm is disobeying that if he continues to live with his first two wives.     Read more
 
 
Convicted Bigamist Won't Serve More Time
By Debbie Hummel
The Associated Press
KSL NewsRadio 1160
Originally broadcast May 19, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A former police officer convicted of bigamy won't have to return to jail to serve out a term prosecutors claimed ended too early, a judge ruled Thursday.   Rodney Holm, 38, was convicted in August 2003 of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old, all third-degree felonies.   He was ordered to serve one year in the county jail with work release privileges and three years of supervised probation.   Holm entered jail Oct. 13, 2003, and was released June 9, 2004, after accruing time off for good behavior.  State prosecutors argued in a February parole hearing that the Washington County Jail may not have correctly interpreted state law in calculating Holm's early release time and requested he be returned to jail to serve at least 30 more days.   During a review hearing by telephone Thursday, 5th District Judge G. Rand Beacham in St. George ruled that Holm did not have 30 days remaining, according to Attorney General's office spokesman Paul Murphy.   Beacham said the way the jail kept track of time served had changed, which accounted for the difference, Murphy said.   The only way Holm would have to return to jail is if he violated parole, which the state has claimed Holm continues to do by living with two women.     Read more
 
 
8 Men Indicted In Polygamous Community
The Associated Press
KXAN-TV 36 - Austin, Texas
Originally broadcast July 12, 2005

Colorado City, Ariz. -- An ex-Utah police officer is among eight members of a polygamous community indicted on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and conspiracy.   Prosecutors say one of the men was arrested Friday, while the others turned themselves into Mohave County, Arizona, authorities Monday.   The men are accused of sexual misconduct with a minor and conspiracy relating to spiritual unions in Colorado City, Arizona.  If convicted, authorities said each of the eight men could serve up to two years in prison.   One of the men indicted, Rodney Holm, is a former police officer in neighboring Hildale, Utah.  He was previously convicted in Utah of bigamy and illegal sex with a teenage girl that he had taken as a third wife.     Read more
 
 
8 in sect give up, face sex charges
Husbands of minors surrender in Kingman
By Mark Shaffer
The Arizona Republic - Flagstaff Bureau
Originally published July 12, 2005

In another blow to Colorado City's frontier polygamist society, eight men on Monday surrendered themselves to Mohave County authorities in Kingman after being indicted during the past month on sexual misconduct charges with their underage brides.   Among those arrested were a former police officer, Rodney Holm of neighboring Hildale, Utah, who received national attention two years ago after being convicted of marrying his third wife, who was 16 at the time.  Holm, 38, who served a year in county jail in Utah, also is married to the girl's older sister.   Holm was charged with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor between Dec. 1, 1998, and March 31, 1999.   Also taken into custody for their initial court appearances were Donald Robert Barlow, 48; David Romaine Bateman, 48; and Terry Darger Barlow, 23; who each were charged with sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.   Four other men - Vergel Bryce Jessop, Randolph Joseph Barlow, Dale Evans Barlow and Kelly Fischer - also were in court on Monday.   The Mohave County Attorney's Office did not release the specific charges against them.   All eight men are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a multiple-marriage sect whose members have resided for decades in an isolated area near the Arizona-Utah line in an attempt to avoid law officers in the two states.     Read more
 
 
2 polygamists plead innocent
The Associated Press
The Arizona Republic
Originally published August 24, 2005

BULLHEAD CITY - A former Colorado City police officer and another man have pleaded innocent to sex charges stemming from polygamist marriages.   Rodney Holm, 38, and Terry Darger Barlow, 23, appeared Monday in Mohave County Superior Court in Kingman.   Holm pleaded innocent to three counts of sexual conduct with a minor.   Barlow, 23, pleaded innocent to one count of sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.   The two were among eight men who were indicted earlier this summer on various counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and conspiracy related to so-called spiritual unions in Colorado City, a polygamist community in northern Arizona.   Holm was formerly a police officer in Colorado City and neighboring Hildale, Utah, another polygamist community.   He was previously convicted in Utah of bigamy and illegal sex with a teenage girl that he had taken as a third wife.   The other six men previously entered innocent pleas in superior court.   If convicted, each of the eight men could serve up to two years in prison.   Authorities are also still seeking the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that broke away from the Mormon church and practices polygamy.   Warren Jeffs was charged in Arizona in early June with counts that include conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
 
 
Holm off of supervised probation
The Spectrum
Originally published December 15, 2005

ST. GEORGE Rodney Holm, a former Hildale police officer convicted of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years of age, had his supervised probation lifted Thursday morning.   Fifth District Court Judge G. Rand Beacham agreed with a report from Adult Probation and Parole that Holm no longer be on supervised probation.  Holm will most likely finish out the remaining 10 months of his 36-month probation term.   In February, Holm was in court for a review hearing after Adult Probation and Parole requested a premature and successful end to his supervised probation.  The state objected stating that Holm was in violation of his parole agreement by living with his two wives.     Read more
 
 
Court ends polygamist's supervised probation
By Jennifer Dobner
The Associated Press
Provo Daily Herald
Originally published Friday, December 16, 2005

SALT LAKE CITY -- A former police officer who was convicted of bigamy was released from supervised probation Thursday, after a judge said there was no reason to continue to expend the resources to track him.   Rodney Holm will still have to complete his three years of probation, but he'll do it on "bench" or unsupervised probation, 5th District Judge G. Rand Beacham said.  He ordered Holm to return to court May 18.   Holm, 39, was convicted of third-degree felony bigamy and two counts of third-degree felony unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years old in August 2003.  He was sentenced to a year in the Washington County jail and was released on probation in July 2004.   Officers from Adult Probation and Parole have met weekly with Holm since his release, said his attorney Rod Parker.  Holm has also fulfilled the other conditions of his parole, including performing 200 hours of community service and completing a psycho-sexual evaluation with a therapist.   The only remaining condition Holm must meet is to obey the law, Parker said.     Read more
 
 
Holm taken off supervised probation
By Patrice St. Germain
The Spectrum
Originally published December 16, 2005

ST. GEORGE - Former Hildale police officer Rodney Hans Holm, convicted of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years of age, has been taken off supervised probation.   Fifth District Court Judge G. Rand Beacham said Thursday there is no good reason to keep Holm, 39, who has served 26 months of probation for the third-degree felonies, on supervised probation.  Holm has also served a year in jail.   Beacham changed the remaining 10 months of Holm's probation to bench probation and instructed him to return to court on May 18 for a review.   Adult Probation and Parole requested a premature and successful end to Holm's supervised probation in February and again this month.  Beacham said since arguments by the state claiming Holm violated terms of probation by living with two wives had not been proven there is no reason for the supervised probation.   "There is no report of a probable violation and it seems to me that if there is any such probation violation, it is easily reported to law enforcement as it is Adult Probation and Parole," Beacham said.     Read more
 
 
Utah's bigamy law upheld
Justices rule polygamist broke law by marrying teen
By Geoffrey Fattah and Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Wednesday, May 17, 2006

If it looks like a marriage and sounds like a marriage, then the polygamous marriage of former Hildale police officer Rodney Holm to his then-16-year-old bride did indeed run afoul of Utah's bigamy statute.   That was the opinion of the majority of justices of the Utah Supreme Court in a politically charged ruling released Tuesday.  In a 4-to-1 decision, the justices ruled Utah's use of its bigamy statute to go after polygamists is not unconstitutional and upheld Holm's conviction on two felony counts of unlawful sexual conduct and one count of bigamy.   Holm was "obviously disappointed" but did not say much else about the ruling to his lawyer, Rod Parker.   "He was pretty quiet about it," Parker said Tuesday.  "You could tell in talking to him, his demeanor, that he found it very disappointing."   Parker said he did not know if he would appeal the ruling.  He has 90 days to decide.     Read more
 
 
10-year chronology in the Holms case
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Facts:
  • In 1996, Holm legally marries Suzie Stubbs.

  • Later, Holm, a member of the Fundamentalist LDS Church, participates in a religious ceremony with Wendy Holm.

  • In 1998, Holm participates in a religious ceremony with 16-year-old Ruth Stubbs, the sister of Holm's first wife.

  • Holm, a police officer in Hildale, is arrested and charged with felony counts of unlawful sexual conduct and bigamy.

  • In 2002, Holm is convicted by a jury and sentenced to one year in jail, a $3,000 fine and 200 hours community service. Holms request to call fellow FLDS members as expert witnesses on their culture is rejected by the court.
    Read more
 
 
Polygamist released from probation
By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Friday, May 19, 2006

ST. GEORGE Convicted polygamist and former police officer Rodney Holm is no longer on probation, but questions remain about whether he continues to practice polygamy.   Appearing briefly in 5th District Court Thursday in St. George, Holm joked with the judge who grappled with keeping him under the eye of law enforcement.   "Is there anything else he needs to do?" Judge G. Rand Beacham asked the prosecutor.   "Just abiding by the law," replied Assistant Utah Attorney General Paul Graf, who asked for one last review hearing on the case.   "Let's be done," Holm told the judge.   Beacham ordered Holm's probation to be "terminated successfully," meaning he has complied with all of the terms.   The Utah Attorney General's Office said it still has questions about whether Holm is still living with two of his purported wives.   "We have no evidence to verify that he is," Graf told the Deseret Morning News outside of court.     Read more
 
 
Top-court ruling turns up heat on polygamists
By Geoffrey Fattah
Deseret Morning News
Originally published May 21, 2006

With Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, criminal investigations under way by authorities in Utah and Arizona, a national media feeding frenzy over all things polygamy and a TV show such as HBO's "Big Love," plural marriage is sitting under a very hot spotlight.  A recent Utah Supreme Court ruling that clears the way for prosecutors to go after polygamists under the state's bigamy statute has only served to turn up the heat.  "I have started to be a little concerned about that," said one polygamist man, who asked the Deseret Morning News not to identify him out of fear of criminal prosecution.  He lives in the Salt Lake Valley with his five wives.  The Utah Supreme Court ruling couldn't come at a worse time for those who practice plural marriage.  The state's high court already booted from the bench Hildale municipal court judge Walter Steed for having multiple wives.  Before that, the Utah Supreme Court had upheld polygamist Tom Green's conviction of bigamy, criminal non- support and child rape, for taking a 13-year-old girl as one of his wives.  As a Hildale police officer, Rodney Holm had taken an oath to uphold the laws and the Utah Constitution, which unlike other state constitutions, contains a specific ban on polygamy.  So when Holm was charged with bigamy and unlawful sex with a 16-year-old, it sent shockwaves.     Read more
 
 
Police serve series of warrants on residents of Colorado City
Documents related to sex-abuse trials looming for 8 men
By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Friday, May 26, 2006

Police officers swarmed the polygamous border town of Colorado City, Ariz., Thursday, serving a series of warrants related to the upcoming sex abuse trials of eight men.   As in recent weeks, many people retreated inside their homes when 16 Mohave County sheriff's deputies, detectives, a Mohave County Attorney's special investigator and a pair of Coconino County sheriff's deputies rode into town.   "It sure makes 'em worried and concerned and panic-stricken," ex-Fundamentalist LDS Church member Ross Chatwin said Thursday.   The officers were serving four search warrants simultaneously in Colorado City as part of an ongoing investigation into sex-abuse cases within the community.  Police did not waste time and did not notify anyone in the town of their plans.   "We did it for the officers' safety, No. 1," Mohave County Sheriff Tom Sheahan said.  "No. 2 is when you do this amount of search warrants, that would prevent individuals from calling others and destroying evidence that we are possibly looking for."   Investigators told the Deseret Morning News they served warrants to seize evidence and subpoena witnesses to appear in court.  Eight men are facing trial in Arizona on charges of sexual conduct with a minor involving marriages to teenage girls.  One of those men is former Hildale police officer Rodney Holm, who was convicted in Utah of unlawful sex and bigamy charges related to his polygamous marriage to a 16-year-old girl.     Read more
 
 
Upholding of bigamy conviction absurd
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Spectrum
Originally published June 5, 2006

Utah's Supreme Court's upholding of Rodney Holm's bigamy conviction is absurd and ecclesiastically motivated.

The majority displayed unrestrained prejudice with its bizarre rationalizations regarding how the state can legally recognize fantasy weddings, though solely for the purpose of prosecution. I applaud Chief Justice Durham's indignant dissent and humor in mocking the majority's insistence that Holm's relationship with Ruth Stubbs was a valid "marriage" because she wore a "white dress" for the non-legal ceremony. Durham was right to accuse the state of trying to have its "cake-and-eat-it-too."

I still marvel at Tom Green's bigamy conviction (and continued incarceration) when he was and still is a single guy. Utah's bigamy statute lacks neutrality and endures to single out a religious minority for disfavorable treatment.

In Utah, you're guilty of felony bigamy for just "purporting" to have a second wife. You're a bigamist if you're married and "cohabit" with anyone else, including - theoretically - your children. "Cohabit" hasn't been legally defined, making many Utahns bigamists. Only Fundamentalist Mormons are targeted. Would Shurtleff imprison Brigham under this ironic, hypocritical statute?

Gary Batchelor
Sandy
 
 
Polyamist appeals conviction to top U.S. court
By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Originally published October 17, 2006

An ex-Hildale police officer convicted of bigamy is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his conviction.  Rodney Holm claims his conviction violates his constitutional rights to freedom of religion and due process.  His petition also questions whether a state can treat private polygamous relationships as criminal marriages.  "Widespread popular departure from traditional marriage practices has made the anti-polygamy laws, like laws against cohabitation, adultery, and fornication, anachronistic," Holm's lawyer Rod Parker wrote in the petition.  "These laws are not enforced against those practicing contemporary lifestyles, but are asserted as weapons, as in this case, against those living a traditional, family-grounded, religious-based life."  Parker asks the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider its controversial decision in Reynolds v. United States. The 1879 decision banned polygamy in America, although there are an estimated 37,000 people living in plural marriage in Utah and surrounding states.  In his petition, Holm's lawyers claim Utah's interpretation of its own bigamy statute discriminates against a religious minority and violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  "The Utah court's criminalization of polygamous relationships that do not seek recognition as legal marriages violates the Equal Protection Clause because it discriminates on the basis of religious affiliation," Parker wrote.     Read more
 
 
THE LAW AND RODNEY HOLM
Opinion
James J. Kilpatrick
Yahoo News
Originally published Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Some long-forgotten jurist long ago laid down a maxim for the ages: "De minimis non curat lex."  Loosely translated: Appellate courts should not bother with trifles.  On the surface, the case of Holm v. Utah, recently filed in the Supreme Court, is a trifling case.  The facts are messy and the law is long established.  It would be surprising if the high court agrees to hear it.  All the same, the case of Rodney Holm in Utah evokes uncomfortable echoes of the high court's controversial opinion three years ago in John G. Lawrence v. Texas.  In that case, six justices voted to sanction consensual sodomy.  The Utah case involves consensual polygamy.  Is there a precedent taking shape?  In the currently pending case from Utah, the facts and the underlying law are not seriously in dispute.  Under Utah's law, a man is guilty of a felony when, knowing he has a wife, he purports to marry or cohabit with another woman.  This is bigamy.  When this case began, Rodney Holm was already legally married to (1) Susie Holm and "religiously committed" to (2) Wendy Holm.  In December 1998, pursuant to rites of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he participated in a "religious commitment ceremony" with (3) Ruth Stubbs.  She was 16, he was 32.     Read more
 
 
Supreme Court Asks Utah To Respond Polygamy Appeal
The Associated Press
KUTV Channel 2
Originally published November 18, 2006

The U.S. Supreme Court has asked Utah's Attorney General to respond to a polygamist police officer's appeal of his bigamy conviction.  An attorney for Rodney Holm, a member of the polygamy-practicing southern Utah-based Fundamentalist Church Attorney General Mark Shurtleff had previously said his office would only respond to the filing at the court's request.  A letter from court officials was received Friday.  "This means they have some interest in hearing the case," said Paul Murphy, Shurtleff's spokesman.  "How much we don't know.  Obviously, we are going to follow the court's direction."  In its letter, the high court asked that 40 printed copies of the attorney general's response be submitted by Dec. 13.  Murphy said the office will ask for additional time to comply.  Holm's attorney, Rod Parker, said the request offers the possibility the case will be heard.  The U.S. Supreme court last dealt with the issue of polygamy more than 100 years ago.  "As I understand the process, a single justice can request a response, so it doesn't tell us much about the level of interest," Parker said in an e-mail.  "Nevertheless, 90 percent of cert petitions die on the threshold of the courthouse.  At least we have made it inside."     Read more
 
 
ADF: U.S. Supreme Court should deny review of attempt to legalize polygamy
Polygamists hope to use Lawrence v. Texas decision to expand protections for "intimate relationships"
Alliance Defense Fund
ADF Media Relations
480-444-0020
Originally published Friday, January 12, 2007

WASHINGTON Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a friend-of-the-court brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Family Research Council, arguing that the court's 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas does not support a constitutional right to polygamous relationships.

"Marriage is a revered social institution that is regulated by the state for the public good. It is properly protected from the ill effects of polygamy," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Chris Stovall. "However, when the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that sodomy was constitutionally protected, it opened up a Pandora's Box for other groups to hope that the ruling might be expanded to legalize other forms of relationships, including polygamy. Fortunately, courts have consistently limited the Lawrence decision to issues of criminal punishment for private, consensual sexual conduct between adults."     Read more
 
 
Reject Holm appeal, Utah urges
Polygamist is trying to get top U.S. court to hear his case
By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Originally published Saturday, January 13, 2007

Ruth Stubbs did not want to marry Rodney Holm.  The 16-year-old "just cried" when she was told that she would marry the 32-year-old man and become his third wife.  She was told to by then-Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Rulon Jeffs.  In a quick ceremony at Jeffs' home in Hildale, Stubbs exchanged vows with Holm.  Warren Jeffs (who is currently the leader of the FLDS Church and is facing criminal charges) presided over the 1998 ceremony and declared the two "legally and lawfully husband and wife."  That description of Stubbs' wedding is part of the Utah attorney general's response to an appeal of Holm's conviction that has been filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.  Holm, a former Hildale police officer who was convicted in 2003 of bigamy and unlawful sex with a minor, is appealing to the top court.  He is asking the court to consider whether a ban on plural marriage among consenting adults is outdated, violates his right to freedom of religion and whether polygamists are targeted for prosecution.     Read more
 
 
New trial date set for polygamists
By Jim Seckler
Mohave Daily News
Originally published Sunday, January 21, 2007

KINGMAN - A new trial date has been set for a Colorado City polygamist charged with having sexual relations with an underage girl.  Rodney Holm's trial before Superior Court Judge Steven Conn has now been set for Feb. 21.  Holm, 40, a former Colorado City police officer, is charged with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor.  Holm and seven other codefendants belong to a controversial polygamist sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Colorado City.  Holm and two remaining defendants still have trials pending.  So far, two defendants have been convicted, one defendant has been acquitted, one defendant has accepted a plea agreement and charges against the last defendant were dismissed.  Randolph Barlow's bench trial before Conn was also postponed indefinitely.  Barlow, 33, is charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.  A bench trial is where a judge, not a jury, decides whether a defendant is guilty or not guilty.  Dale Evans Barlow's trial also before Conn is set to begin Feb. 14.  Barlow, 49, is charged with one count of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.  The sentencing hearing for Vergel Jessop, 47, has not been set.  He pleaded no contest Dec. 18 to an undesignated charge of child abuse.  He had been charged with sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.     Read more
 
 
Polygamy trial continued until July
The Spectrum
Originally published February 21, 2007

A jury trial for former Hildale/Colorado City police officer Rodney Holm that was set for today has been continued until July 20 at the defense counsel's request.  Holm, Dale Barlow and Randy Barlow still face charges in Mohave County for their participation in spiritual marriages to girls younger than 18.  The Mohave County Attorney's Office obtained grand jury indictments against the men.  Holm previously was convicted by a jury in Fifth District Court in Washington County on a charge of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor 16 or 17 years of age.  A jury trial for Dale Barlow was set for Feb. 27 but has been changed to Feb. 28 at 9:30 a.m.  Randy Barlow's one-day bench trial has been given the Feb. 27 time slot.  Sentencing for Vergel Jessop has been rescheduled for March 22 at 2 p.m.  On Dec. 18, 2006, Jessop pleaded no contest to child abuse, a class 5 undesignated offense.  Jessop will receive three years supervised probation with no additional jail time.  Registration as a sex offender will be at the court's discretion.  All of the cases are before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Steven Conn.
 
 
U.S. SUPREME COURT REJECTS UTAH POLYGAMY CASE
News Release
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
Originally published February 26, 2007

For Immediate Release
February 26, 2007
Contact
Paul Murphy:
Utah Attorney General's Office:
(801) 538-1892
pmurphy@utah.gov

The United States Supreme has refused to hear the appeal of a Hildale police officer who was convicted of taking an underage girl as his polygamous wife. Today the justices declined, without comment, to review the appeal of Rodney Holm for his 2003 conviction of bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

"Mr. Holm was charged and convicted for unlawfully having sex with an underage girl and with bigamy. We believe it is very clear that no one has the constitutional right to this type of behavior," says Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

In her brief to the Supreme Court, Assistant Attorney General Laura Dupaix argued that the justices should not hear the case because of the facts. "This case does not involve consenting adults. It involves an arranged marriage between a 32-year-old adult and his 16-year-old sister-in-law, who conceived two of his children before her eighteenth birthday."     Read more
 
 
U.S. Supreme Court passes on Holm case
By Patrice St. Germain
The Spectrum
Originally published February 27, 2007

HURRICANE The U.S. Supreme Court took a pass Monday on the Rodney Holm case and both the Utah Attorney General's office and Holm's attorney Rodney Parker believe it may be in part because Holm took an underage girl as his third wife.  In May 2006, the Utah Supreme Court was asked to determine if Holm was appropriately convicted for bigamy and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.  The court was asked to determine if Holm violated Utah's bigamy statute and if the statue is constitutional.  The Utah Supreme Court ruled that Holm's constitutional rights were not violated when he was prosecuted for bigamy.  That decision was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which decided Monday not to hear the case.  The court did not give a reason for the decision.  The fact that the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear the appeal of the former Hildale police officer was disappointing to Parker but not surprising.  Personally, I think because (Holm's wife) was a minor it was a problem the court could not get beyond," Parker said.     Read more
 
 
U.S. Supreme Court denies review of attempt to legalize polygamy
ALLIANCE DEFENSE FUND NEWS RELEASE
February 27, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT ADF MEDIA RELATIONS:
(480) 444-0020
 
Polygamists hoped to use Lawrence v. Texas decision to expand protections for "intimate relationships"; ADF attorneys filed friend-of-the-court brief
 
WASHINGTON The U.S. Supreme Court Monday turned away an appeal that argued for the legalization of polygamous relationships. ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the Family Research Council on Jan. 12 that encouraged the court to deny review of the case.

"Polygamy is no mere social taboo. It is destructive on multiple levels, and the court was right to turn down review of this attempt to attack appropriate protections of marriage," said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Chris Stovall. "The courts have consistently ruled that the Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas is limited to issues of criminal punishment for private, consensual sexual conduct between adults. It does not legitimize polygamy, which involves living openly and publicly in multiple simultaneous relationships and households which are held out as marriages."     Read more
 
 
Trial for Colorado City polygamist postponed to April
By Jim Seckler
Mohave Daily News
Originally published Wednesday, March 7, 2007

KINGMAN - The trial for one of two remaining Colorado City polygamists was put off for another month.  Rodney Holm's jury trial has been postponed to April 17.  Holm, 40, a former Colorado City police officer, is charged with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor.  Holm and seven other codefendants belong to a controversial polygamist sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Colorado City.  Of the remaining codefendants, Dale Evans Barlow, 49, is charged with one count of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.  No new date has been set for his trial.  Charges against Randolph Barlow were dismissed two weeks ago when the victim refused to testify against him.  Barlow, 33, was charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.  Vergel Bryce Jessop, 47 is expected to be sentenced March 22.  He pleaded no contest Dec. 18 to an undesignated charge of child abuse.  He had been charged with sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.     Read more
 
 
Holm avoids jury trial in Arizona
The Spectrum
Originally published August 27, 2007

HURRICANE Former Hildale/Colorado City police officer Rodney Holm is avoiding a jury trial, which was set to begin on Sept. 5, after the state and defense entered into an agreement on Holm's charges on conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.  Holm and several other men from Colorado City were facing the charges in Mohave County, Ariz.   The state and defense agreed to dismiss the charges without prejudice at this time and with prejudice at the end of one year as long as Holm completes 40 hours of community service and does not commit similar offenses over the course of a year.  The agreement was reached because the alleged victim had engaged in a potential blackmail scheme with her brother in an attempt to get money from one of the leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church.  This attempt was fairly recently discovered by all of the parties and upon investigation it appears that the victim did in fact write a letter indicating that she would not testify against certain defendants if money was given to her brother and another man by one of the members of the church.     Read more
 
 
Charges dropped against polygamist after blackmail scheme revealed
By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
Originally published August 27, 2007

Arizona prosecutors have dropped charges against former Hildale cop and polygamist Rodney Holm, after it was learned the alleged victim in his case tried to sell her testimony to Fundamentalist LDS Church leaders.  The Mohave County Attorney's Office said Monday it struck a deal with Holm, 40, dismissing charges of sexual misconduct with a minor surrounding his marriage to Ruth Stubbs, then 16.  "The reason why this agreement was reached was due to the fact that the victim had engaged in a potential blackmail scheme with her brother in an attempt to get money from one of the leaders of the FLDS Church," Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith said in a statement.  "This attempt was fairly recently discovered by all of the parties, and upon investigation, it appears that the victim did in fact write a letter indicating that she would not testify against certain defendants if excessive money was given to her brother and another man by one of the members of the FLDS Church."  Smith said in an e-mail to the Deseret Morning News that he would not pursue charges against Stubbs. "There is insufficient evidence to prosecute her, because the member of the FLDS Church did not follow through with federal authorities in the investigation," he wrote.  "The letter was destroyed, presumably by the victim's brother."     Read more
 
 
Case vs. polygamist still officially open
By Jim Seckler
Mohave Daily News
Originally published Tuesday, October 30, 2007

KINGMAN - The case against a former Colorado City police officer who was charged with sexual conduct with a minor is still officially open.  Rodney Holm, 40, who belongs to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, had been charged with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor.  Speaking by phone, Holm's attorney Bruce Griffen said he received an agreement from the county attorney's office a month ago and was not sure why the case was still on Monday's calendar.  Superior Court Judge Steven Conn postponed Monday's status hearing until next Monday and if Mohave County Attorney Matt Smith does not appear in court, Conn will dismiss the charges anyway.  In late August, Smith dropped the charges without prejudice providing that Holm completes 40 hours of community service and does not commit a similar offense for one year.  The agreement was reached because the alleged victim and her brother engaged in a blackmail attempt to get money from one of the leaders of the church.  The victim reportedly wrote a letter saying she would not testify against some defendants if leaders of the church gave money to her brother and another man.     Read more
 
 
Ruth Stubbs talks about becoming a reluctant crusader against Warren Jeffs
by Mike Watkiss
KTVK - AZ Family
Originally broadcast February 2, 2012

PHOENIX -- A lot of people had a hand in bringing pedophile prophet and FLDS leader Warren Jeffs to justice, but the truth is no one played an earlier or more significant role in starting Jeffs on the path to a Texas prison than a brave young woman named Ruth Stubbs.  "I just thank God I got out when I did," Stubbs said with a laugh and a smile.  "There is so much drama out there," she says as she shakes her head and motions in the direction of her home town, the twin border communities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz.  It has been 10 years since the now 29-year-old mother fled with her three children from a forced polygamous marriage in the FLDS-controlled enclave.  "People are getting kicked out every other day -- kids, parents, families getting ripped apart," she said.  "I'm grateful for where I'm at."  Where Stubbs is today is a far cry from where she was a decade ago.  We first interview Stubbs 10 years ago this month as she was fleeing her arranged, illegal polygamous marriage to a sworn Colorado City police officer named Rodney Holm.  It was a story that touched-off a firestorm and changed the course of history.  Her journey has been a difficult and courageous one.
 
 
 
Top of page
 
 

 


Watch the Colorado City and the Underground Railroad documentary trailer
 

 


Watch more of the Colorado City and the Underground Railroad documentary trailer
 

 
Read the Rodney Hans Holm v. State of Utah, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court
- Utah Attorney General's Brief in Opposition
 

 
Read the January 12, 2007 Rodney Hans Holm v. State of Utah, Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Supreme Court of the State of Utah
- Family Research Council's friend-of-the-court brief
 

 
Read the State of Utah v. Rodney Hans Holm, Case No. 20030847
 

 
Read the Utah Supreme Court's opinion regarding bigamy and Rodney Holm filed May 16, 2006
 
 
Top of page
 


"Religion" is no excuse for committing child abuse
Site Map