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Polygamy in Utah, Exploitation of Underage Girls or Religious Freedom

In late February of 2017, in Salt Lake City, UT, hundreds of individuals gathered to protest Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s signing of a new law that increases the penalties for polygamists convicted of committing fraud or abuse.

The new law is part of a larger ongoing conversation about the criminalization of polygamy in the State. In Utah, polygamy has always been illegal, but the practice has come under stricter scrutiny when the State prosecuted a number of individuals who were part of a fundamentalist Mormon sect that engages in polygamist marriages, many of which involve underage girls.

The issue involves religious freedom versus protecting underage girls from abusive practices.

In 2013, a federal court declared a large part of Utah’s ban on polygamy unconstitutional, specifically rejecting the ban on cohabitation between underage girls and older men who are not related. Utah lawmakers, however, are fighting to reinstate the ban on cohabitation, citing the need for the State to protect underage girls and to prevent welfare fraud.

Find an Attorney for Polygamy Offenses in Salt Lake County, UT

If you or someone you know is being charged with a sex offense such as polygamy, sexual assault of a minor, or unlawful detention in Salt Lake County, Utah, or in the surrounding areas like Toole County, Weber County, Utah County, or Davis County, UT.

Susanne Gustin is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is a zealous and skilled litigator, dedicated to fighting for the best possible result in your case.

Call (801) 243-2814 now for more information about our office and to set up a free consultation.

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