RELIGION

Not guilty pleas entered for accused in Canada polygamy case

The trial of two Canadian men from a fundamentalist sect that allows men to have multiple wives has opened with not guilty pleas being entered on charges of practicing polygamy

Winston Blackmore and James Oler each face one count of polygamy. They are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamous offshoot church that has members in the community of Bountiful in southeastern British Colombia.

Oler is accused of having four wives. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Blackmore remained mute and Justice Sheri Ann Donegan said a not guilty plea would be entered on his behalf.

Blackmore is accused of marrying 24 women over 25 years.

Similar charges against the men were quashed in 2009 in a dispute over the appointment of prosecutors.