(Salt Lake City-AP) -- The state of Utah is trying a child abuse claim against polygamist John Daniel Kingston.
Lawyers allege a decade-long pattern of physical abuse and neglect of the ten children he has with Heidi Foster --- one of at least 14 wives Kingston is believed to have.
The trial began today in juvenile court.
Two of the couple's children, a 15-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl, ran away from home after they were allegedly threatened with beatings for getting their ears pierced.
Foster has been investigated by the Department of Child and Family Services at least three times.
Kingston is no stranger to the law. He pleaded no contest to second-degree felony child abuse after arranging the 1997 marriage of his 16-year-old daughter, Mary Ann Kingston, to his brother. He was accused of beating her until she became unconscious when she refused to marry him.
The trial is scheduled to continue tomorrow.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)