Kingston Meets with His Children at Funeral

Kingston Meets with His Children at Funeral

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A prominent polygamist violated a no contact order by visiting with some of his children at a funeral earlier this week, according to state attorneys.

Kingston was ordered to have no contact with the children he has with Heidi Mattingly last November after evidence surfaced that the weekly meetings allegedly upset some of the children, who were in state custody.

Third District Juvenile Judge Andrew Valdez removed the children from the home after finding they were abused and neglected.

Valdez gave Kingston permission to attend the funeral services for Mattingly's father on Monday, but Valdez said the no contact order with the 11 children he has with Mattingly remained in place.

Assistant Attorney General Carolyn Nichols told the judge Thursday that Kingston interacted with the children, and that both he and Mattingly Foster should be held in contempt.

She asked Valdez for a hearing to present evidence the couple violated his order there and on other occasions during the week.

Guardian Ad Litem Kristin Brewer, the children's attorney, said the funeral ended up being "a circus" and "free-for-all" and that the interaction with Kingston and other family members had distressed some of the children.

Valdez said he had expected Kingston to not talk to the children, who "have a right to go to their grandfather's funeral."

Kingston told The Salt Lake Tribune he hugged some of the children during the viewing for Ronald Mattingly and posed for a picture with them.

"When I got approval to attend the funeral, it was my understanding I had permission to treat it as a supervised visit," Kingston said, adding it would have been inappropriate to not greet his children. "What would that do to a child if their father shunned them in any way?"

For more than 14 months the couple have been the subject of a child welfare case after two of their teenage girls fled their father's office fearing retribution for getting their ears pierced. Those girls were found to have been abused and neglected in June. Valdez removed the all the remaining children, except an infant girl, in October after new allegations of abuse and neglect surfaced.

Earlier this month Valdez ruled that the children should be gradually reunited with their mother.

No date has been set for the contempt hearing. Another hearing in the case is set for June 28 to review efforts to reunify the children with Mattingly and the nine children who remain in state custody.

It is estimated that Kingston has more than 100 children with 14 different women.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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