Emily Blackmore, the woman convicted of taking a 13-year-old girl from B.C. to the United States to marry a polygamous religious leader who then raped the child, is appealing her conviction.

Blackmore, 60, was charged with removing a child from Canada for a sexual purpose in 2004.

She took the girl from Bountiful across the border to marry Warren Jeffs, the leader of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a man believed by his followers to be a prophet.

Jeffs raped the child a few months after the wedding. An audio recording of the rape was presented as evidence at his trial in Texas where he was convicted on two counts of rape involving two victims, after he was extradited from Utah.

Blackmore refused legal counsel at her trial in B.C. Supreme Court. She was sentenced to seven months in jail and ordered to provide a DNA sample. She's now registered as a sex offender.

Her former husband, Brandon Blackmore, 71, was also convicted and sentenced to a year in jail for his part in delivering the child to Jeffs. He is also now registered as a sex offender.


Warren Jeffs watches the jury leave the courtroom to restart their deliberation in his Utah rape trial in 2007. He was eventually convicted on two counts, involving two female victims. (Douglas C. Pizac-Pool/Getty Images)

During her trial, Blackmore read from what appeared to be religious texts, and did not defend herself.

Court documents state that under the doctrines of her church females are instructed to "submit" to their father, and later their husband as the priesthood head of the family. 

"A wife owes a duty of absolute obedience and submission to her husband," according to a summary of facts in an earlier sentencing decision filed with the B.C. Supreme Court.

Blackmore's lawyer, Greg DelBigio, is now appealing the conviction arguing that the judge erred in his finding that the circumstantial evidence was sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The court application also argues that the sentence was unduly harsh and the 60-year-old should be acquitted or given a conditional sentence.

Special prosecutor Peter Wilson has not yet filed a rebuttal.

Crossfield and Blackmore

Emily Blackmore enters the Cranbrook courthouse on last November with her co-accused, Brandon James Blackmore. (Bob Keating/CBC)