James Oler is back in Cranbrook B.C. Supreme Court on Monday for the start of his sentencing hearing, after the former FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) Bishop in Bountiful was found guilty in May of removing a child from Canada for a sexual purpose.
Monday should mark the end of the years-long court case which included a full trial in 2016, Oler’s acquittal, an appeal by Special Prosecutors in 2017, the granting of a new trial in 2018, and the subsequent trial and conviction in 2019.
Back on May 17, 2019, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin found Oler guilty of removing a child from Canada for a sexual purpose under section 273.3(1)(b) and 153 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The guilty finding was after Oler took a 15-year-old girl, identified as C.E.O due to a publication ban, to the United States in 2004 to be married into a polygamous relationship.
“At 1:23 pm on June 25, 2004, C.E.O was married ‘for Time and Eternity’ to James Leroy Johnson in Mesquite, Nevada. The ceremony was performed by Warren S. Jeffs and witnessed by James Oler and William Edson Jessop,” said Devlin in her ruling of guilt, citing the list of 18 marriages performed by Jeffs on June 25, 2004, and the FLDS marriage record from the same day. “At the time C.E.O was 15 years old. This was a plural marriage.”
More: James Oler Guilty of Removing Child for Sexual Purpose (May 17, 2019)
Oler’s sentencing hearing is expected to last Monday and Tuesday.
As per the Criminal Code of Canada, Oler could face a maximum prison term of five years for the crime, although Brandon James Blackmore and Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore both received 12-month and 7-month prison sentences for the same child removal charge in August 2017 as part of the first trial where Oler was originally acquitted.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin is expected to deliver her sentencing ruling either Monday or Tuesday following a review of a prepared pre-sentencing report, and submissions from the Crown and amicus curiae.