Former Bountiful bishop and convicted polygamist James Oler will go to jail. Oler, 55, was sentenced Thursday to 12 months in jail and 18 months’ probation.
Former Bountiful bishop and convicted polygamist James Oler will go to jail.
Oler, 55, was sentenced Thursday to 12 months in jail and 18 months’ probation.
A little more than 15 years ago, Oler he took his 15-year-old daughter to Utah where she was handed over in marriage ceremony to a man she’d never met.
That ceremony in June 2004 was presided over by Warren Jeffs, the pedophile prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Ten minutes after that marriage, Jeffs also gave Oler his fifth wife. It was the second time that year that Oler was given a teenager as a wife. The only charge ever to result from those marriages was a single count of polygamy. For that, Oler was sentenced last July to three months of house arrest, 75 hours of community service and 12 months probation.
Although the maximum penalty for unlawful removal of a child from Canada is five years in jail, Oler’s sentence mirrors that of Brandon James Blackmore who – along with one of his wives, Gail Blackmore – was a co-defendant at Oler’s original trial. Gail Blackmore was sentenced to seven months in jail and 18 months’ probation.
But Oler was acquitted. Oler’s acquittal was overturned on appeal and a new trial ordered.
The sentence marks the end of a long and costly 15-year battle to prosecute the leaders of the fundamentalist Mormon community in southeastern British Columbia and bring its nearly 1,500 members and residents into mainstream society.