Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.

No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

No further charges are expected against individuals associated with a community infamous for practicing polygamy, according to the B.C. Prosecution Service.

A special prosecutor has announced there will not be additional charges stemming from investigations into Bountiful, a community south of Creston that was founded by a fundamentalist Mormon sect that practices polygamy as part of its religious doctrine.

In 2014, Peter Wilson was appointed by the provincial government to assess evidence submitted by police to Crown lawyers and recommend charges if warranted.

Wilson approved and prosecuted polygamy offences against Winston Blackmore and James Oler, who were accused of practicing polygamy — a central religious doctrine in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).

Both Blackmore and Oler were tried and found guilty in 2017, and sentenced to six months, and three months house arrest, respectively, along with community service.

Charges of removing a child from Canada were also approved by Wilson against three Bountiful individuals as the result of evidence that underage child brides were taken from the Bountiful community and married to American men associated with the FLDS in the United States.

Brandon James Blackmore and Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore were found guilty, while James Oler was acquitted. The acquittal was overturned on appeal and a new trial was ordered. Oler was found guilty in the second trial.

Additional charges of removing of a child from Canada against three unnamed individuals were also considered, but not approved, according to Wilson.

The announcement ends Wilson’s mandate of assessing charges recommended by police in the Bountiful investigations.

Further counts of sexual exploitation relating to those investigations were not approved due to a number of problems identified in the charge assessment process, according to Wilson.

Those issues include lack of a complainant or uncooperative witnesses, difficulty establishing the necessary culpable relationship, and the public interest in prosecutions involving women who reject the notion that they are even victims of a crime.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Creston was added to the SeeClickFix mobile app earlier this week. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Town of Creston looking to improve response to non-emergency requests through new program

Through the SeeClickFix mobile app, residents can submit requests for issues such as pot-holes, graffiti, defective streetlights and more. Users can include a photo and pin the location of the issue to the app’s GPS feature.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Tia Wayling is the recreation services coordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay. File photo
Rec Perspectives: Use Family Day to Restore Well-Being

“While the usual celebrations and gatherings are not happening, the whole premise behind this fairly-new appointed statutory holiday is so families can take a break from hectic schedules and spend some quality time together sometime during the long weekend.”

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons. File photo.
MP Morrison calls Keystone XL permit cancellation ‘devastating news’

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to the Conservative Party’s removal of a controversial Ontario MP

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read