Prosecutor appealing Oler acquittal

Criminal Justice Branch is appealing the acquittal of James Oler in child removal case.

Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson and Micah Rankin led the case for the Criminal Justice Branch against three members of Bountiful who were charged with child trafficking offences.

The Ministry of Justice is seeking an appeal of a recent acquittal for a Bountiful man charged with child trafficking offences.

James Oler was recently acquitted from an alleged unlawful removal of a child from canada offence following an eight-day trial in Cranbrook Supreme Court last fall. Two others — Brandon James Blackmore and Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore — were found guilty.

Justice Paul Pearlman presided over the trial and delivered his decision on Feb. 3, 2017, in Cranbrook.

The charges stemmed from incidents in 2004 where their underage daughters were taken from Bountiful, a small community south of Creston, and married to men in the United States.

Much of the trial focused on the religious doctrine and teachings of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), which established the Bountiful community decades ago.

The appeal was filed by Peter Wilson, a special prosecutor who led the case for the Criminal Justice Branch and approved the charge in August 2014. Wilson is seeking a ruling that the acquittal be set aside, a conviction be substituted as originally charged or, in the alternative, a new trial ordered.

According to a press release from the Ministry, Wilson has reviewed the decision of the court and is satisfied that the judgment reveals errors of law, a reasonable argument can be made that the verdict of acquittal would not necessarily have been the same if the errors were not made and that public interest requires an appeal.

According to Pearlman’s decision, Oler was acquitted because there was no evidence he was in Canada when FLDS leader Warren Jeffs ordered him to bring his daughter, who had been living in Bountiful in 2004, to be married to another FLDS member in the U.S.

Specifically, Wilson argues that there doesn’t need to be direct proof that Oler physically removed his daughter from Canada and that the acquittal draws a speculative inference that Oler wasn’t in Canada during the commission of the offence without any supporting evidence.

Oler will return to Cranbrook Supreme Court in April along with Bountiful leader Winston Blackmore, as both will be going to trial for a polygamy charge.

 

Just Posted

Rocky Mountain Rogues get ready for Saratoga Cup

The Rogues will be looking to defend their championship title from Sept. 7-8 at the Saratoga Cup

Black Press Kootenay Career Fair underway in Cranbrook

Today, Thursday, August 22, around 40 employers will be waiting to meet potential new employees

Artist Michael Hepher selected to paint mural downtown Fernie

The mural will be located on The Beanpod, 691 2 Ave, Fernie, on the outside wall.

UPDATED: Crews remain on scene of Jaffray hay barn fires

Emergency personnel remain on scene throughout Wednesday to put out hot spots

Dynamiters prepare for main camp

The Kimberley Dynamiters will host their main camp on Aug. 30 - Sept. 1 at the Civic Centre

Black Press Career Fair underway in Cranbrook at Days Inn

Opportunities abound for employers and job seekers

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months

Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. hockey player excited to join Humboldt Broncos

Defenceman Sebastien Archambault played last two seasons with Junior B Sicamous Eagles.

Huawei executive’s defence team alleges Canadians were ‘agents’ of the FBI

eng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Canada and China

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

On vaccines, abortion, Goop, doctor Jen Gunter says: ‘I have a duty to speak up’

She speaks out on menstruation, the wellness industry and vaccines

Most Read