Sister Wives Family Avoids Criminal Bigamy Charges
The polygamous family featured on TLC's reality show Sister Wives will not face criminal bigamy charges, The Associated Press reports.
Prior to the show's premiere in fall 2010, Utah police launched a bigamy investigation against Kody Brown and his four wives Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn. In January 2011, Brown moved his wives and 16 children to the Las Vegas area, where he sued Utah county along with the state governor and attorney general. In his lawsuit, Brown claimed Utah's bigamy legislation violated his family's constitutional rights.
Will bigamy investigation affect the future of TLC's Sister Wives?
After receiving assurances from the attorney general that consenting adult polygamists won't be charged unless found guilty of other crimes, a federal judge dropped the case against the state, but allowed the Browns to continue their fight against the county. On Thursday, Utah county prosecutor Jeff Buhman filed a motion to have the case against the county dismissed. Bunham's filing explained that the county had adopted the same policy as the state in regards to bigamy and no charges would be pursued against the reality stars.
"The criminal case against the Browns is closed and no charges will be filed against them for bigamy unless new evidence is discovered which would comport with the office's new policy," Buhman wrote.
Sister Wives' Kody and Robyn Brown expecting
While the Browns are happy about the case's dismissal, their attorney, Jonathan Turley, said the family has no plans to withdraw its lawsuit against the county since the law continues to be "blatantly unconstitutional."
"I want to express our great relief for the Brown family that this long-standing threat has been finally lifted," Turley explained in a statement. "The family has spent years being publicly denounced as felons by prosecutors and had to move to Nevada to protect their family and children."