Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Details emerge about seized Mennonite kids

  • Print

Almost two dozen children have been seized from a devout southern Manitoba Mennonite community amid charges youngsters were assaulted with cattle prods, whips and leather straps.

Documents from Manitoba Family Services show the youngest of 23 children taken from their homes is nine-months-old; the oldest is 15. The documents don't detail alleged abuse but do say one 13-year-old boy "does not want to return home."

Related Items

Two adults from the tiny orthodox community were charged in March with various counts of assault and assault with a weapon on several boys and girls between July 2011 and January of this year. Court documents listed a whip, a prod, a board and a leather strap as weapons.

This week, two more adults appeared in court to face similar charges involving 12 alleged victims. The allegations are similar -- that the assaults were repeated and over roughly the same 18-month time frame. The two were released pending their next court appearance.

Court documents show the children seized are from five families, including one family of nine kids ranging in age from one to 13.

None of the allegations has been proven in court. RCMP are still investigating and say more charges could be laid.

The identities of the children are protected under a publication ban. The Canadian Press is not naming the accused and the small community where they live.

Family services initially wouldn't confirm the number of children taken into care.

One man driving a horse-drawn buggy told Global TV Winnipeg family services "apprehended all our children that are minors.

"They walked into the houses, took the babies out of the cribs while they were sleeping," he said.

Manitoba Family Services says it is working with the families and children, providing counselling services and support while the investigation continues. The agency says child protection staff are trying to find "culturally sensitive placements for the children."

Royden Loewen, chair in Mennonite Studies at the University of Winnipeg, said the community is inherently non-violent. They shun the modern conveniences of life, including electricity and cars, and adhere strictly to Biblical teachings.


-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 21, 2013 A5


Updated on Friday, June 21, 2013 at 6:15 AM CDT: Removes incorrect photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

Comments are not accepted on this story because it involves young offenders or minors.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Steve Ashton comments on bid for NDP leadership

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos


With the Canadian junior team off to such a great start, will you be watching the World junior hockey championship?

View Results

Ads by Google