Some court observers believe that Leavitt lost his re-election bid for Juab County attorney in part because of the controversy surrounding his prosecution of Green. But the former prosecutor has also reached out to the polygamist’s family, helping them relocate from their compound of mobile homes in Utah’s western desert to Utah County.
Leavitt said it was family members who contacted him about defending William Green. One of Tom Green’s ex-wives is the teenager’s mother.
“My feeling is that Bill Green is as much a victim of polygamy as any child bride,” Leavitt said.
The lawyer, who is former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt’s brother, said several people he has prosecuted have turned around and hired him as a defense attorney. Asked why, Leavitt said he could only guess they felt that even though he “hit ‘em hard,” they also believed he was fair.
Draper police have said William Green’s case has nothing to do with polygamy. The 18-year-old is accused of meeting the 13-year- old girl through the Web site, MySpace.com. According to documents filed in West Jordan’s 3rd District Court, Green is accused of having sexual relations with the girl this past February and March.
“There’s no indication or nothing in our complaint” that links the incident to Tom Green’s ideology, Draper Police Sgt. Gerry Allred said at the time of the arrest.
Leavitt declined to discuss the specific allegations against William Green.
“We don’t believe that he’s a predator or that he’s a sex offender,” he said. “He doesn’t merit being posted on the Internet as a sex offender. We don’t think society will be better off having him being painted that way.