Two Old Order Mennonite sisters, charged with abduction in relation to a Mennonite boy who reportedly ran away from his foster placement, have been granted bail.
The case is connected to the mass apprehension of about 40 children from their Manitoba Mennonite community due to allegations of widespread physical abuse against children.
The women, sisters aged 22 to 24, are among about a dozen adults from the community who face charges in relation to the alleged abuse, said to have been committed between July 2011 and January 2013.
The sisters, and a 72-year-old man, are also charged with abduction, forcible confinement, obstructing justice, and with interfering with a child in care under
the Child and Family Services Act.
The accused, and the Mennonite community, can’t be identified due to a publication ban that protects the identity of the children.
The women appeared in Brandon court on Thursday where Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup consented to their release on security that included $3,000 cash each.
While on bail, the women are banned from being at the Old Order Mennonite community, from contacting any member or former member of the community, and can’t have contact with youth under 18 years old.
No details of the allegations against them were shared in court, and a publication ban was put in place to prevent the printing of such details even if they had been described.
However, court documents indicate that the abduction, obstruction and forcible confinement charges relate to a 13-year-old Old Order Mennonite boy who sources say ran away from his foster placement.
During a bail hearing for the co-accused man, who was granted release on Monday, court heard that the boy was found in a Saskatchewan home when the man was arrested about a week ago.
The Mennonite women, wanted in connection with the allegations of physical abuse, were also found at the Saskatchewan home. They were missing in mid-June when police had arrested other Mennonite adults.
None of the above allegations have been proven in court.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 13, 2013