The Polygamy Blog

Why two Canadian polygamists were guilty of taking their teen daughter to marry, but not a third

First Published      Last Updated Feb 07 2017 12:14 pm

Sure, James Oler knew his 15-year-old daughter was going to be married in Nevada to a 24-year-old man, a Canadian judge said in his written verdict last week, but prosecutors can't show that Oler actually crossed the border with the girl.

A British Columbia court has published Judge Paul Pearlman's verdict. Pearlman presided over the trial of three polygamists from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who took their teenage daughters to marry in the United States.

Pearlman convicted husband and wife Brandon J. and Gail Blackmore of removing a child from Canada for sexual purposes, but he acquitted Oler, a former bishop of the FLDS enclave in Canada.

You can read the entire verdict online.

In explaining the verdicts, Pearlman used some of the 47 pages to recount the evidence, including some of the American former FLDS members who testified about the sect and what happened on the days in 2004 when the two marriages took place.

Later, Pearlman writes that even though the case against Brandon J. and, especially, Gail Blackmore is circumstantial, since no one saw them cross the border with their daughter, there's a lot of evidence suggesting they facilitated the girl's removal, knew she would be married and knew sex would follow.

There was less evidence that Oler crossed with his daughter, Pearlman wrote.

Even after acquitting Oler, Pearlman wrote that Oler knew what was going to happen to his daughter.

Brandon J. and Gail Blackmore are scheduled to be sentenced April 13 in Cranbrook, B.C.

Prosecutors in British Columbia will have another chance to convict Oler on April 10 when he and another former FLDS bishop, Winston Blackmore, go on trial for polygamy.


Twitter: @natecarlisle