The New York Times, June 29, 1999

Polygamist Jailed for Hitting Kid
By The Associated Press

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) -- A man accused of whipping his 16-year-old daughter for fleeing an arranged, polygamous marriage to her uncle was sentenced to seven months in jail Tuesday for child abuse.

In a case that threw a spotlight on polygamy in heavily Mormon Utah, John Daniel Kingston, 43, was also fined $2,700 and ordered to complete an anger-management program.

Kingston could have gotten five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He pleaded no contest.

``This has been a difficult but growing experience for me,'' Kingston said. ``I do want to help (my daughter) go on with her life and be the good person I know she can be. And I'm sorry for any pain and suffering I might have caused her or anyone else.''

The girl said that her father, a leading member of one of Utah's most prominent polygamous clans, arranged for her to become the 15th wife of his brother, David Ortell Kingston. She testified that she counted 28 lashes from her father's belt before she passed out.

The uncle was convicted June 3 of incest and will be sentenced July 9.

An estimated 25,000 to 35,000 polygamists live in Utah and other parts of the West. Most belong to offshoots of the Mormon Chruch, which renounced polygamy in 1890 under pressure from Congress and the courts.

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