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Special Prosecutor Files Appeal Following Bountiful Child Removal Verdict

The special prosecutor in the Bountiful child removal trial has filed an appeal with British Columbia’s Court of Appeal following the acquittal of James Marion Oler.

One of three members of the polygamous community that stood trial for allegedly took under girls out of Canada to be married to members of the FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints), Oler was acquitted of all charges on February 3rd while Brandon James Blackmore and Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore were convicted.

The Criminal Justice Branch of the Ministry of Justice announced the appeal Wednesday.

The Branch says Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson reviewed Justice Paul Pearlman’s decision and is satisfied that, “the judgement reveals errors of law,” that, “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, “the public interest requires an appeal.”

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In the Branch’s statement, Wilson’s grounds of appeal are that the trial judge, “erred in law by drawing the speculative inference that the respondent or complainant may not have been in Canada at the time of the commission of offence despite the fact there was no evidence supporting this inference.”

Wilson is seeking that Oler’s acquittal be set aside and that he either be convicted or that a new trial be ordered.

Justice Pearlman found both Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore and Brandon James Blackmore guilty of removing a child for a sexual purpose. A pre-sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 13, 2017 in Cranbrook Supreme Court.

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