WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on Monday 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." The justices declined, without comment, to review the ruling.
Holm, a former police officer in the neighboring polygamous towns of Colorado City and Hildale, Utah, was 32 and legally married when he married his wife's 16-year-old sister in a religious ceremony in 1988. Holm and the women were members of the polygamist sect Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
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.