Out of jail, polygamist seeks to legalize plural unions

Polygamist and former cop Rodney Holm has served his jail time, but his fight to clear his record — and overturn laws against plural marriage — continues.

Holm, a one-time Hildale police officer, was released Wednesday from the Washington County Jail. Later this month, his attorney will file a brief in an appeal of his convictions on bigamy and unlawful sex with a minor stemming from his “spiritual” marriage to 16-year-old Ruth Stubbs in 1988.

At the time, Holm was legally married to Stubbs’ sister and had another spiritual wife. The three, like the majority of residents in Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, were members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), which embraces polygamy as a tenet of their religion.

Stubbs was the star witness in the case and no longer lived with Holm at the time of last year’s trial, which resulted in a guilty verdict and a one-year jail sentence. Holm, 37, had been on work release and spent his days as a heavy-equipment operator for Hildale; he was released a few months early for good behavior.

But his future looks cloudy because of his felony convictions. He is registered as a sex offender and cannot return to his old job in law enforcement.

Holm’s appeal, now pending at the Utah Supreme Court, hinges in part on arguments about religious freedom and privacy.

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