March 25, 1998 12:00 AM

Tom Green, not the “Freddy Got Fingered” star but a man who lives with his five wives and 25 of his 29 children in the remote Utah desert, was in court for jury selection on Monday in what is America’s first polygamy prosecution in five decades. A jury of five women and three men was selected. (At least three potential jurors were rejected because they are strongly opposed to polygamy, reports the Associated Press.) Green, 52, says that his lifestyle is a God-given choice, one that he has vigorously defended it on TV talk shows (including Jerry Springer’s and “Dateline NBC”). “You stick your head out of the hole,” Green has said, “the government will shoot it off.” Green has said. The prosecutor in the case, David Leavitt, has said that he never would have known about Green if he hadn’t appeared on TV. Green, who is charged with bigamy and criminal nonsupport (his maximum sentence would be 25 years in prison) also may be subject to a separate trial on child rape charges . These stem from his relationship with one of his wives when she was 13. No trial date has been set.

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