Charges possible for Canadian polygamists
Victoria, British Columbia • A Canadian investigation into possible sexual abuse of children in a polygamous commune in British Columbia has been handed over to a special prosecutor.
Canadian judicial officials say it will likely take several months until the prosecutor reviews the documents and makes a decision on whether to file charges. The alleged sexual abuse occurred in the 1980s.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been investigating plural marriages in the polygamous community of Bountiful for nearly two decades. The residents in question are a branch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, whose home base is found along the Utah-Arizona line. Judicial officials say the Mounties expect get more information in the coming months about what was going on in the community.
In 2009, two community leaders, Winston Blackmore and James Oler, were charged with polygamy. But the charges were later thrown out when a judge ruled the men's rights were violated.
It's not clear if Blackmore and Older are suspects in the latest matter. The prosecutor will consider charges of human trafficking, child exploitation and polygamy.
The Associated Press