B.C. polygamous sect leader appeals conviction for taking teen to U.S. to marry

Bountiful couple were convicted of facilitating marriage of underage daughter to religious leader

The wife of a polygamous couple who were convicted of taking their daughter across the border to marry a mormon religious fundamentalist leader has filed an appeal.

In August, Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore was sentenced to a jail term of seven months in a ruling from Justice Paul Pearlman following a trial that also included her husband, Brandon James Blackmore, who was also convicted and sentenced to one year in prison.

RELATED: Former husband and wife get jail time in B.C. child bride case

The application was filed on Sept. 11 by Thorsteinssons, a law firm with an office in Vancouver, according to the Appeal Court registry. During her trial, Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore was unrepresented, however, an amicus curae — a friend of the court — served as a counterbalance to the prosecution to ensure a fair trial.

Now that the application has been filed, it is up to Blackmore and her lawyer to convince the court to appeal the case, which will be argued at a hearing that has yet to be scheduled.

Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore was charged with the removal of a child from Canada under a criminal code subsection that the removal would facilitate sexual offences in 2014. Her husband, Brandon James Blackmore and James Marion Oler were also charged with the same offence, however, Oler was acquitted during the trial process. That acquittal is being appealed by Special Prosecutor Peter Wilson, who tried the case for the Crown.

The conviction of Emily Ruth Gail Blackmore and Brandon James Blackmore resulted from bringing their underage 13-year-old daughter from Lidster, also known as Bountiful, across the US border to marry Warren Jeffs, the leader and prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), in 2004.

In his ruling, Justice Paul Pearlman said Emily Blackmore should have foreseen that her daughter would have sexual contact with Jeffs shortly after the marriage.

“Ms. Blackmore has shown no remorse, and does not acknowledge that she has committed an offence,” Pearlman wrote.

Jeffs, who was arrested in 2006, was tried and convicted of child sex assault and is currently serving a life sentence in Texas.

Wilson built his case by gathering testimonial evidence from mainstream Mormon religious experts, former members of the Bountiful community and law enforcement from Canada and the U.S.

A large portion of evidence included marriage and personal records that were seized by US law enforcement during a raid on an FLDS compound in Texas in 2008.

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