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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Just days after the judge handling the custody case involving polygamist John Daniel Kingston and one of his wives stepped down, Kingston has asked the case's new judge to also recuse himself.
Kingston's attorney, Daniel Irvin, filed a motion Wednesday asking 3rd District Juvenile Judge Dane Nolan to recuse himself because he prosecuted a member of the Kingston clan in 1999.
"We're saying he was the prosecutor and the appearance of bias is already there," Irvin said. "How do we know he's going to be impartial?"
While serving as a deputy Salt Lake County district attorney, Nolan successfully prosecuted one of Kingston's brothers, David Ortell Kingston, for having sexual relations with his then 16-year-old niece, Mary Ann Kingston.
Irvin said Nolan also is a material witness in a multimillion dollar lawsuit Mary Ann Kingston filed against members of the Kingston clan.
Paul Murphy, a spokesman for the Utah Attorney General's Office, said his office is not taking a position on the recusal motion.
Nolan took over the case Friday after 3rd District Juvenile Court Judge Andrew Valdez stepped down at the request of the attorney general's office, which cited the disorderly conduct charges Valdez's son, Tito, faces due to his clash with Kingston clan members protesting his father outside the courthouse.
The drawn-out child-abuse case began in February 2004 when two of John Daniel Kingston's teenage daughters pierced their ears without their father's permission and later fled.
Kingston's then 13-year-old daughter told police her father beat her, her mother and her siblings.
Valdez ruled Kingston abused his children and their mother, Heidi Mattingly, had failed to protect them from that abuse and had physically abused the children herself.
A planned hearing on placement of six of Kingston and Mattingly's 11 children was canceled earlier this week. Three children are back living with their mother, including a baby, a 10-year-old son and a 15-year-old boy. Six children are in state custody. The couple's two oldest teenage daughters are living in foster homes and have told the court they do not want to return to their parents.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)