Government appeals acquittal of Bountiful, B.C. leader in child bride case
Oler was accused of taking a 15-year-old girl across the border for a sexual purpose in 2004
A special prosecutor appointed by the provincial government has appealed a decision acquitting James Marion Oler, one of the leaders of the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., in a recent court case.
Oler was found not guilty earlier this month of taking a 15-year-old girl into the United States in 2004 to marry James Leroy Johnson, who was 24 at the time of the marriage.
In the same trial, former husband and wife Brandon Blackmore and Gail Blackmore were found guilty of taking another 13-year-old girl across the border to marry Warren Jeffs, a 60-year-old church prophet now serving a life sentence in Texas.
- Brandon and Gail Blackmore convicted by B.C. judge in child bride case
- Bountiful sect members face polygamy, child-related charges
Justice Paul Pearlman said it wasn't proven Oler crossed the border.
In a statement, Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson, QC, said the judge erred by concluding the Criminal Code required proof that Oler was physically present in Canada when the offence was committed.
Oler, who represented himself at the trial, was a leader in the community of Bountiful, B.C., where the trial heard plural marriage was practised.