2 men guilty of polygamy get house arrest in Canada

In this 2008 file photo, Winston Blackmore, the religious leader of the controversial polygamous community of Bountiful, shares a laugh with six of his daughters and some of his grandchildren in a photo taken near Creston, British Columbia, Canada, April 21, 2008 | Photo by Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press via The Associated Press, St. George News

CRANBROOK, British Columbia (AP) — A British Colombia Supreme Court judge imposed conditional sentences on two men who belong to a breakaway Mormon sect after convicting them of polygamy Tuesday, sparing them jail time.

In this February 2017 file photo, James Oler, left, and Gail Blackmore, right, arrive at the courthouse in Cranbrook, British Columbia. The court found James Oler married five women in so-called “celestial” marriages involving residents in the tiny religious community of Bountiful, British Columbia. Photo taken in Cranbrook, British, Columbia, Feb. 3, 2017 | Photo by Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via The Associated Press, St. George News

Winston Blackmore was found guilty of having 24 wives, while the court found James Oler had five wives. Blackmore’s six-month conditional sentence to be served under house arrest allows him to go to work and deal with medical emergencies. Oler’s term is three months of house arrest. Both face 12 months of probation

Justice Sheri Ann Donegan said that while both men are hard-working and otherwise law-abiding, a discharge by the court would not have been appropriate, given the gravity of their offenses, including some of the men’s wives being as young as 15 when they were married.

“He’s made it clear that no sentence will deter him from practicing his faith,” the judge said of Blackmore, 61, who also has 149 children. “The concept of remorse is foreign to him in this context.”

Donegan said Oler’s crimes were motivated by his “sincerely held religious beliefs instilled in him at an early age.”

Blackmore was also ordered to perform 150 hours of community service work, while Oler must do 75 hours.

Dozens of Blackmore’s supporters were in court, and some cried when the sentence was read.

The men have been leaders in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon sect that believes in plural marriage. They have both been part of the small community of Bountiful in southeastern British Columbia.

Blackmore’s lawyer had asked the judge to consider all possible sentences in the case, including an absolute discharge. There are only two other convictions for polygamy in Canadian history, but because those cases took place in 1899 and 1906, Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson told the judge they didn’t set a precedent in determining sentences for the men.

The maximum sentence for polygamy under the Criminal Code is five years in prison.

Written by The Associated Press.

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8 Comments

  • Carpe Diem June 27, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Prison time would have made him feel remorse. Sorry he got caught, at least!

    Anyway, “I” am sorry that Canada is impotent.

    • jaybird June 27, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Humm. Wonder how he got away with it in Utah? Could it be he’s related to some influential LDS ppl and govt?

      • mesaman June 27, 2018 at 10:47 pm

        Wonder what you are suggesting; “how he got away with it in Utah? Maybe some delusional moments?

  • comments June 27, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Pedophiles get to get away with their crimes so long as they claim they are followers of Joseph Smith. Such a blessed legacy the Prophet Joseph Smith left with us, huh? Just like a pedophile free-for-all. Disgusting.

    • Striker4 June 28, 2018 at 5:48 am

      Awww poor little Prophet Bob he feels left out so he attacks his own religion

  • PlanetU June 27, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    nice, house arrest, so he can make more babies- disgusting. Hope his dinger falls off.

  • comments June 27, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    It really is nothing more than a sex cult. At it’s foundation mormonism is a sex cult. What Joseph Smith was leading and operating at the time of his death was a sex cult. If “THE LORD” wanted lecherous nasty old men to have 24 “wives” why is it that “THE LORD” made it so that females and males are born almost exactly to a 1:1 ratio? It’s only the plyg “royalty” that gets to accumulate hordes of concubines. Your average plyg doofus man will be lucky if he gets to accumulate 2 or 3. And that’s how it was in the old days. Old King Brigham Young of the utah territories got copulate with hordes of women/girls because he was king and they were his concubines. It would’ve been a similar story with other higher-ups of LDS royalty below king Brigham. I guess that’s how it was in ancient times? The average plyg doofus just follows orders and kisses the feet of the cult royalty and is content with his 1-3 wives, and if Warren Jeffs calls on him to bring over his 10 year old daughter he obliges with a smile on his face.

    • Striker4 June 28, 2018 at 5:51 am

      awwww look Prophet Bob is all upset because somebody made a poo poo in his sandbox

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