Without a formal complaint, police can’t march into the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C., the way Texan authorities did, Attorney General Wally Oppal said.
More than 400 children were seized in a raid by U.S. authorities on April 4 at a polygamous community linked to Bountiful.
Oppal told CBC News Online that in Texas, police reacted to a complaint by a 16-year-old girl who said she had been abused. No such complaint has been made here.
Both communities are part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect that broke away from the Mormons after polygamy was disavowed more than 100 years ago.
Leonard Doust, a special prosecutor, wrote in a special report for the B.C. Crown office, issued April 7, that the province’s court of appeal should be asked to rule on the legality of Canada’s polygamy laws, specifically whether Canada’s laws could withstand a court challenge on the grounds that multiple marriages fall under the right of religious freedom.
Yesterday, Texan officials began DNA testing the children to sort out family relationships and determine whether sexual abuse occurred. Some have changed their names, lied about their ages and had difficulty naming relatives, according to investigators.