Sex crime task force targets commune

Calgary Sun/July 23, 2004

Vancouver -- Police are putting together a team to investigate allegations of crimes against children at the polygamous Bountiful commune near Creston, B.C. Attorney General Geoff Plant announced yesterday. "There are allegations of child abuse, there are allegations of forcible marriage, of sexual exploitation," Plant said.

The commune is part of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon breakaway sect.

Debbie Palmer, who at 15 was assigned to be the sixth Bountiful bride of a 55-year-old man, called Plant's announcement overdue.

"We've got girls who have been trafficked across the border . . . they are under-aged and they are being impregnated by men who are in positions of power," said Palmer, who fled Bountiful in 1988.

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