|Charges dropped against polygamist after blackmail scheme revealed|
By Ben Winslow|
Deseret Morning News
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."
Holm was scheduled to face a jury trial on Sept. 5 in Arizona. Instead, the criminal case was dismissed without prejudice. If Holm completes 40 hours of community service and doesn't commit any similar offenses over the next year, the case will be dismissed with prejudice — meaning the case would not be refiled.
Stubbs was the key witness against Holm when he was convicted in Utah on bigamy charges in 2003. In 1998, she was told by then-FLDS leader Rulon Jeffs that she would be wed to Holm, who was a Hildale police officer. In a ceremony performed by Warren Jeffs — the current FLDS leader, who is in jail and facing criminal charges — Stubbs became Holm's third wife. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Holm's appeal on the Utah conviction.
Holm was the last of eight men from the FLDS enclaves of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., to face criminal charges related to alleged child-bride marriages. Four were convicted, one was acquitted and the charges were dropped against the other two.
Originally published August 27, 2007
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