Another Kingston goes to court on sex charges

The Salt Lake Tribune, Aug. 6, 2003

    Once again, a member of Utah’s polygamous Kingston clan is being prosecuted for allegedly having sexual relations with a close family member.

    Jeremy Ortell Kingston, 32, appeared in 3rd District Court on Tuesday charged with one count of third-degree felony incest in connection with his alleged 1995 marriage to LuAnn Kingston when she was 15 years old.

    Kingston’s court appearance comes just two months after his uncle, David Ortell Kingston, 37, was released from prison after serving 4 years for committing incest with a 16-year-old niece.

    Prosecutors said 23-year-old LuAnn Kingston — who purportedly was Jeremy Kingston’s fourth wife — will testify that they had normal sexual relations during their marriage until she left in May 2000.

    By virtue of the Kingston family’s tangled web of intermarriages, LuAnn is a first cousin to Jeremy Kingston, as well as his aunt, according to prosecutors. (LuAnn Kingston’s father is Jeremy Kingston’s grandfather, and LuAnn’s mother and Jeremy’s mother are sisters.)

    Jeremy Kingston told news reporters he has no “ill feelings” toward LuAnn Kingston, who left him and the clan three years ago, taking their children, ages 3 and 5, with her.

    “I care about her and her family and her children,” Jeremy Kingston said, “and I want the best for them.”

    He declined to comment on whether he will attempt a plea bargain agreement or fight the accusations — a course of action that ended in a prison sentence for his uncle.

    David Kingston was convicted by a jury in 1999 of third-degree felony counts of incest and unlawful sexual contact with a minor for having sex with a niece who had become his 15th wife.

    Jeremy Kingston was arrested July 24 at the Kingstons’ annual Pioneer Day celebration, which was attended by as many as 800 family members. He posted $50,000 bail the same day through Sportsman’s Bail Bonds, a Kingston-owned company.

    Kingston appeared in court with family attorney Carl Kingston, also a purported polygamist. Jeremy Kingston’s next court appearance is an Aug. 21 scheduling hearing before Judge Joseph Fratto.

    Carl Kingston called Jeremy “an outstanding citizen . . . a good citizen [who has had] no problems.”

    On his bail release sheet, Kingston listed himself as an “unemployed consultant.”

    But so-called polygamy czar Ronald Barton, who investigates polygamy for the Attorney General’s Office, believes Jeremy Kingston has worked at several Kingston-owned companies, including Advance Vending, Standard Restaurant Supply and Mountain Coin, which sells video gambling machines out of state.

    The 1,200 or so Kingston family members who make up the Latter-Day Church of Christ run numerous businesses along the Wasatch Front that have an estimated worth of $150 million.

    Assistant Utah Attorney General Polly Samuels called incest the most appropriate charge that could be filed. She added that other crimes having to do with the alleged victim’s age in relation to the defendant’s could not be filed because the four-year statute of limitations has lapsed.

    The charges against Kingston were filed May 16, but sealed by the court until he could be arrested.

    According to court documents unsealed Tuesday, authorities believed he was living in Albuquerque, N.M.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday August 7, 2003.
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