Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) are currently serving six-month and three-months house arrest, respectively, for polygamy convictions.

Convicted Bountiful polygamists unrepentant: court documents

Two Mormon fundamentalists told probation officers they feel no remorse for multiple marriages

Pre-sentencing reports for two Mormon fundamentalists convicted of polygamy concluded that while neither expressed remorse for their actions, they were willing to comply with conditional sentencing orders.

Winston Blackmore and James Oler were sentenced to six months and three months house arrest respectively on one count of polygamy in June by Justice Sheri Donegan.

The Canadian Criminal Code identifies a five-year maximum sentence for polygamy, however, there is no modern case precedent for the courts to rely on as it has been over 100 years since it was last prosecuted.

READ: B.C. polygamous leaders sentenced to house arrest

The reports, written by probation officers, compiled information gathered through interviews from varying sources connected to both Blackmore and Oler — the identities of which are protected by publication bans.

Blackmore was charged and convicted of practicing polygamy with 24 women, while Oler was charged and convicted of the same offence involving five women.

During the trial, the court heard evidence that both Blackmore and Oler had entered into marriages with underage girls.

Charges were approved by Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson in 2014, after years of constitutional polygamy vagueness and investigations stemming back to the early 1990s.

Under the Mormon fundamentalism doctrine followed by Blackmore and the Bountiful community south of Creston, polygamy — or plural marriage — is a central tenet to achieving salvation.

Blackmore, 61, told the probation officer that he no longer intends to enter into any more polygamous marriages, however the report also notes concerns that he may continue to facilitate and support polygamous unions of other Mormon fundamentalists.

Blackmore has been adamant throughout the entire legal proceedings against him that he will not deny his faith, which he reiterated in the pre-sentencing report.

“No outcome will stop my faith — (not) a firing squad or jail,” Blackmore told the author of the document.

Blackmore added that his only regret was no longer being able to travel to the United States, where some of his family members reside.

READ: Winson Blackmore found guilty of polygamy in landmark B.C. trial

Blackmore asserts that no harm was done by entering into plural marriages, which is contradicted by another source in the report that describes Blackmore as holding a great of power and authority over the community, particularly women.

Blackmore resides in Bountiful where he lives in a building central to the community and participates in gatherings at a dining hall for buffet-style meals.

The report identifies 149 children resulting from Blackmore’s plural marriages, some of which only see him at breakfast as he works seven days a week operating a wood post business outside Creston.

Blackmore told the probation officer he was audited by the Canada Revenue Agency, which determined that appropriate taxes had not been paid. Blackmore said he defended himself unsuccessfully, while others within the report suspect he may be bankrupt.

Sources told the probation officer that a custodial jail sentence would carry significant financial and emotional impact to wives and children.

At the trial, the court heard evidence that the Bountiful community split in 2002 as the death of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) leader Rulon Jeffs touched off a leadership struggle between his son, Warren, and Blackmore.

That dispute ended with the community splitting allegiances between both Blackmore and Jeffs, causing rifts even between family members.

Oler, 54, also expressed no remorse in his pre-sentencing report, indicating to a probation officer that he doesn’t see any victims from polygamy.

According to the report, Oler has 24 children with five wives.

Oler currently lives in isolation outside of the province working as a mechanic, but a police officer interviewed said he would resume his polygamous way of life if he returned to Bountiful.

Appointed as bishop of the community by Warren Jeffs following the FLDS leadership dispute, Oler was kicked out in 2012 for participating in public polygamy hearings, according to a police officer interviewed by the probation officer.

Oler said he is no longer involved with the church but would not explain why to the report author.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Rosslanders celebrate Canada Day in style

Locals organized a museum scavenger hunt, a Mt. Roberts flag-raising ceremony and evening fireworks

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre expands operations online

The facility also opened back up to the public earlier in June

Mills oppose Celgar’s ask for cheaper logs destined for chipper

The Castlegar mill has asked the province for a lower rate for any log that goes straight to pulp

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Nelson cyclist run over by truck

Driver ticketed for failing to yield right of way on left turn

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read