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Man Who Posed as Wife Sentenced to Year in Jail

October 24, 1995

FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) _ A man who posed as a woman during a 3 1/2-year marriage was ordered to serve 9 months in jail on Tuesday by a judge skeptical about whether the husband was really duped.

``It is difficult for the court to believe the victim did not notice what he really was,″ Judge Rodney Page said.

Felix Urioste, 34, married Bruce Jensen in 1991 in Lyman, Wyo., claiming to be a woman named Leasa who was pregnant with twins. Urioste later told Jensen the twins were stillborn.

Urioste had had his testicles removed when preparing for a sex change operation, and authorities have said the marriage was essentially celibate.

Prosecutors have described Jensen, a 39-year-old lab technician, as naive and sincere and said he married Urioste because he thought he might be the twins’ father. He has since asked for an annulment.

Urioste was arrested as a man in June after running up $40,000 to $50,000 in bills on credit cards in the names of Jensen and Leasa Jensen.

He pleaded guilty last month to communications fraud and forgery for signing Jensen’s name to a loan advance.

Page gave Urioste credit for 91 days spent in the Davis County Jail and ordered him to begin serving the rest of his one-year sentence immediately.

The judge also ordered Urioste to pay a $1,000 fine plus restitution to his victim. The amount of restitution is to be determined later.

Defense lawyer Marlin Criddle contended Jensen knew the truth about Urioste much earlier.

``It’s our position that Jensen learned very early on his true identity and for whatever reason considered it a convenient relationship to be in,″ Criddle said after the hearing.

If the case had involved a man and a woman it would have been settled in divorce court, not criminal court, Criddle said. ``This case represents some kind of affront to Utah manhood.″

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