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While the Utah County Attorney's Office decides whether it will charge "Sister Wives" TV star Kody Brown and his wives for polygamy, the defendants have retained a nationally renowned constitutional law professor to represent them.
The Lehi police presented its bigamy case against the Browns earlier this week and are expected to screen the evidence for charges of bigamy, a third-degree felony. The penalty carries up to five years in prison.
Utah County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman said Wednesday he did not know how long it might take prosecutors to decide whether the case warrants charges.
"It depends on a great extent if we think additional investigation needs to be conducted or if there needs to be research," he said.
Meanwhile, the Browns have hired nationally recognized attorney and legal scholar Jonathan Turley, a member of George Washington University's faculty. Turley has handled several homeland security cases, testified in the Clinton impeachment hearings, and is a frequent contributor to MSNBC for Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.
Turley was unavailable for comment Wednesday night.
The Browns, which include husband Kody and wives Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn, are fundamentalist Mormons in a plural marriage who now star in their own reality series that tracks their day-to-day lives. The Browns have 16 children, all living in the same Lehi suburban home. Kody Brown is an advertising salesman.
"Sister Wives," which is in the middle of its first-season on the cable network, TLC, airs Sunday nights at 11 p.m.
Police began investigating the Browns after the network revealed Aug. 5 it was going to broadcast "Sister Wives." Since the show's debut on Sept. 26, police apparently received complaints from residents, resulting in the investigation, according to the Utah Attorney General's Office.
In the 14 years that Buhrman has been in the Utah County Attorney's Office, he does not recall prosecutors ever charging a fundamentalist Mormon family for bigamy, he said.