Owen Sound, Ontario -- Two brothers whose cloistered Ontario church has been accused of being a polygamist cult by former members, have been charged with 31 sex and assault charges.
The charges come as a result of a 16-month police investigation.
The charges come from the claims of seven alleged victims — all members of the Church of Jesus Christ Restored at the time — and some allegations date back to 1978.
Judson William King has been arrested in Oakville, Ont. He faces charges of assault with a weapon, uttering death threats and four counts of assault, and is to appear in court in Owen Sound, Ont., on May 15.
The whereabouts of Frederick Madison King is unknown. He hasn't been seen since 2012.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
"We can't speculate on where he would be. We don't know," said Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Dave Rektor. "If we did we would certainly have him in custody."
Fred King has been charged with sexual exploitation, sexual interference, three counts of sexual assault, three counts of assault causing bodily harm, five counts of uttering death threats, two counts of assault with a weapon and 10 counts of assault.
In late 2012, the church was thrust into the spotlight when Carol Christie alleged in media interviews she spent close to 40 years brainwashed, under the control of her husband Stan King, then his son Fred.
She wrote a book about her experience called Property: The True Story of a Polygamous Church Wife.
Christie claims she was one of the many wives of self-proclaimed “prophet” Stan King, living on the church grounds — a sprawling former ski resort just south of Owen Sound.
Fred, Stan's youngest son by his only legal wife, took over the Church of Jesus Christ Restored after his father died in 1986.
She wrote about beatings and rampant sexual abuse. Other former members have recalled similar stories and accused the brothers of using them as slave labour.
Christie said Fred repeatedly told his followers that he would kill anyone who left.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
"It is good news," Christie said Monday after hearing charges had been laid. "It has been a long and weary journey to get here and I am really encouraged that the process has reached this point. We are hoping for the best."
Police said it won't release any information that identifies the victims.
Rektor said no more charges are expected unless more information comes to light.
"Often times in cases like this, especially when you are dealing with historic incidents, other things happen, other information comes forward," said Rektor. "We would never say that no charges would be additional. We will see what happens."
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