Lehi police: We've been investigating Brown family for weeks

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LEHI -- A Lehi man and his four wives are now the subject of an investigation by police. They are also the stars of the newest reality show on the TLC network, which could take a new twist if they are prosecuted.


Lehi police confirmed Tuesday that the Brown family has been under investigation for several weeks, ever since TLC announced the show would be in its fall lineup. But there are questions about what this investigation will actually lead to.

Sunday night, TLC's viewers were introduced to the Brown family in the debut of "Sister Wives." Kody Brown and his four wives have opened up their home in Lehi to cameras so other can see what their lives together are like.

"The show certainly shed light on the situation," Lehi police Lt. Darren Paul said Tuesday.

Paul said detectives are now involved in an investigation of the Browns, looking at possible bigamy charges. The crime is a felony in Utah.

"Right now we're looking at the bigamy aspect of it. As the investigation goes on, we'll see where it goes from there," Paul said.

KSL News attempted to talk to the Browns as their home in Lehi, but no one answered the door Tuesday afternoon.

Ten years ago, Utah polygamist Tom Green was prosecuted for bigamy, in what became news around the world.

Green, who had what he called five "spiritual wives," went on national TV and was eventually charged with and convicted of bigamy. His case was different in that he was significantly older than his wives, whom he had married while they were still in their early teens. One of the women sent Green to prison for five years on a conviction of child rape.

In the Browns' case, they are all in the same age range and began their relationships after becoming adults. Three of the wives have been with Brown for 16 years.

A criminal prosecution is something they admitted could happen from deciding to do the show.

"Everybody still decided that the benefits of what we could do far outweighed any of the risks," Janelle Brown, Kody Brown's second wife, said last week.

Lehi police gave no time frame of when its investigation would be turned over to prosecutors, who will then decide if criminal charges will be filed.

E-mail: spenrod@ksl.com

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