Ruth Stubbs runs away from Polygamy
News Channel 3
Ruth Stubbs

Ruth stubbs
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.

Stubbs' and Holm's case comes in the wake of a conviction in May 2001 against admitted polygamist Tom Green for bigamy and criminal nonsupport. Green, who has five wives and 32 children, is also facing statutory rape charges for marrying his wife Linda in 1986. She was 13 at the time of the marriage and he was 37.

If Holm is prosecuted and convicted for similar crimes, which are considered Class 6 felonies, he would become ineligible to work as a police officer. Each charge carries at least 18 months in prison.

Stubbs' attorney alleges that the couple had sexual relations at least three times while living in Arizona.

Arizona and Utah law enforcement officials are monitoring the case.
Originally published February 6, 2002