The trial begins today for three members of a fundamentalist polygamous sect in B.C.’s Kootenay region.
James Oler, Brandon Blackmore and Emily Crossfield, all residents of the Bountiful commune, are accused of taking a child bride to the U.S.
The three were charged with unlawful removal of a child from Canada for sexual purposes back in 2014, after a two and a half year investigation by a special prosecutor.
Winston Blackmore, who allegedly has 24 wives, was also charged with polygamy at the time, and will face a separate trial.
Blackmore and Oler became leaders of separate factions in Bountiful when the community split around a decade ago.
Polygamy charges against Blackmore and Oler were thrown out in 2009 after a judge ruled then-attorney general Wally Opal had gone “prosecutor shopping” to find a lawyer who would lay charges.
The trial is scheduled to last 14 days and will take place in Cranbrook, about 100 km northeast of the community.