Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff Press Release

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.
Assistant Attorney General Laura Dupaix will argue that Holm fully understood his conduct was not valid under Utah law; the Lawrence ruling protects sexual conduct between consenting adults but excludes sex with minors and doesn't prevent states from regulating marriage; and the bigamy law is constitutional because it does not target only religiously motivated bigamy and it does not prevent free association.

Who:    Assistant Attorney General Laura Dupaix

What:    State of Utah v. Rodney Hans Holm

When:    10:30 a.m., Thursday, February 3, 2005

Where:    Utah Supreme Court, Matheson Courthouse, 450 S. State, Salt Lake City
Originally published January 31, 2005