A federal appeals court Monday struck down a judge’s ruling that decriminalized polygamy in Utah, saying the lawsuit brought by members of the “Sister Wives” reality TV family was moot because they faced no credible threat of prosecution.
The decision reinstates third-degree felony penalties for the cohabitation prong of Utah’s bigamy law, which had been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge.
Kody Brown and his four wives — Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn — sued Utah and the Utah County attorney’s office in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court in 2011, alleging the state’s bigamy law violated their constitutional right to privacy by prohibiting them from living together and criminalizing their sexual relationships.
Formerly of Lehi, the family, which practices polygamy for religious reasons, moved to Nevada to avoid prosecution after being investigated by the Utah County attorney’s office and police.
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