By Tory Christensen
Tom Green will face a child rape trial.
Utah 4th District Judge Donald Eyre, Jr. submitted his decision June 17. He said Tom Green”s alleged rape of Linda Kunz was within Utah”s jurisdiction and he will be tried in the Juab County Court. Green”s criminal trial starts Monday, June 24.
“This court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the State of Utah has jurisdiction to prosecute this crime,” Judge Eyre said in his decision.
The prosecution says the birth of Kunz”s first son, Melvin, in 1986 is proof that Green had sex with the minor.
According to Judge Eyre”s decision, both parties agree that sexual intercourse took place.
But the defense says Utah still has no jurisdiction since the act allegedly took place in Mexico.
“We”re quite disappointed,” said John Bucher, Green”s attorney. “We don”t think he addressed with any degree of thoroughness the venue issue.”
Monte Stewart, one of the prosecuting attorneys says that it is still a crime.
“The fact remains, Green took a 13-year-old girl from Utah to Mexico, married her, had sex with her and brought her back to Utah to care for her,” Stewart said.
The judge”s decision was based on a section of state code that says, “A person is subject to prosecution in this state if the conduct within the state constitutes an attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit in another jurisdiction an offense under the laws of both this state and such other jurisdiction.”
The judge said Kunz”s consent to marry and betrothal to Green in Utah constitutes solicitation to rape of a child.
Bucher said the code does not justify Green”s prosecution.
“We think he”s stretching the idea that there was a solicitation of a child rape in Utah,” Bucher said. “It was a solicitation to Linda”s father of betrothal, not sex.”
The prosecution is ready for trial, but the defense team is just now preparing, Bucher said.
“We didn”t think we were going to trial,” Bucher said. “We”re getting prepared. We will be ready next week.”
“We”ve been preparing and we”re confident,” Stewart said.
Kunz was 13 years old when she married Green in 1986 and was impregnated with Melvin. Green was 38.
Green and Kunz are still married after 16 years.
“None of this would have happened if I hadn”t pursued it,” the head wife said. “I am not a victim.”