A Canadian man, who has married up to 27 wives with 145 children, has revealed that law enforcement officials in his country are pursuing him with charges over his marriage life.
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Winston Blackmore, 59, was a bishop for the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in a community within Lister, British Columbia.
In 2002, he was reportedly ousted from the church as bishop. It is unclear why the Lister community church ousted Blackmore as bishop from the church. When Blackmore left the church, some of the congregation followed, and he still acts as a bishop to those who followed him. Mr Blackmore is considered as the biggest polygamist person in the whole of Canada.
Blackmore said he was arrested and handcuffed in front of his children and wives, by police in 2007. He was then charged with polygamy. However, a court later dismissed the charges against him.
The Tribune reports that the charges were dropped against Blackmore because there were concerns about how the special prosecutor was selected to handle the case.
On July 29th, Blackmore traveled to the state of Utah in the United States to lecture a congregation belonging to his faction. During the lecture in Salt Lake City, Mr Blackmore told the gathering that after he was set free in 2007, by the court which dismissed the polygamy charges against him in 2014, prosecutors brought another bout of fresh charges against him. He said although he has been charged, prosecutors have not set date for the trial to begin.
He admitted to marrying the 27 women, who have now given birth to 145 children. When asked about his view on polygamy, he told the gathering that he does not favor the legalization of polygamy.
He said if polygamy is legalized, he fears women would be exploited by men. According to Blackmore, he never courted any of his wives, but instead, some of them approached him about becoming his wife, which he in turn accepted. He also revealed he and his wives are officially ‘friends,’ saying that despite them being friends, Canadian authorities are still pursuing them with polygamy charges.
“And those suckers are after me day and night. I’m going to have to go another round with them. I beat them the first round for prosecutor shopping,” Mr Blackmore said.
In the state of Utah, where Blackmore told his marriage story to the audience, it is said there are known polygamists there. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, these polygamists have been pushing for years for the state to change its bigamy statute so that there would not be criminal charges for people who practice polygamy.
Mr Blackmore also said because Canadian authorities are very determined to prosecute him, the country has changed its definition of common-law marriages. However, he added that he will win the case against Canadian authorities because he believes he has not broken any law on his marriage.
We are following the case and will report when Mr Blackmore finally goes on trial in Canada for his polygamous marriage.
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