Lifestyle & Belief

Polygamist sect in Canada

WO says he'll talk with a special prosecutor next week about allegations of bigamy and child abuse. He says there's no known connections between this enclave and a similar one in West Texas: There have been connections between here and an enclave in Utah. Having said that their situation is different from our own in that the American authorities received a complaint from a 16 year old and we've had no such complaints here in Canada. We're concerned about how these women might be treated. (What do you intend to do?) Well one is that sexual abuse is said to be happening between older men and young girls and the second issue deals with the offense of polygamy. We have no witnesses prepared to go and testify. In earlier events, such witnesses have said if they were forced to testify, they would say there's consent at all levels and they were never assaulted. So that left us with the potential offense of polygamy. we've been told that accusations of that offense wouldn't survive because it would violate the right to freedom of religion. I happen to disagree with that but the opinions we've had have gone both ways. (So is polygamy legal or illegal?) It's clearly illegal under Canadian law, but opinions have suggested that freedom of religion may trump that offense. (As you watch the case in West Texas unfold, what are you keeping a watch on?) We're just watching to see how it plays out because if the person who complained goes and testifies and some legal result comes about, it may encourage other people to come and complain. We made it clear to our young women that our government is open and willing to listen, but so far we've had no takers.

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