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Supreme Court Declines to Review Ruling Against Bigamist

Supreme Court Declines to Review Ruling Against Bigamist

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court today denied a Utah man's request to overturn his bigamy conviction as a violation of his right to practice his religion.

Rodney Holm was convicted in 2003 of felony bigamy and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

The Utah Supreme Court upheld the conviction, saying religious protections of the U.S. and Utah constitutions do not shield Holm's polygamous practices from state prosecution. Today, the justices declined, without comment, to review the ruling.

Holm, a former police officer in Utah, was 32-years-old and legally married when he married his wife's 16-year-old sister in a religious ceremony back in 1988.

Holm is a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a polygamist sect based in Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.

The sect split from mainstream Mormonism after the broader church renounced polygamy in 1890. The mainstream LDS church excommunicates members found to be practicing polygamy.

The case is Holm v. Utah, 06-535.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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