Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Twist in case of seized children

Three charged after missing teen found

  • Print

BRANDON -- A case in which dozens of Old Order Mennonite children were apprehended from their Manitoba community over allegations of abuse has taken a dramatic twist.

Two Mennonite women who went on the run and a Manitoba man, described as a friend of the community, stand accused of abduction after being found with a teen who ran away from his foster placement.

Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said the allegations stem from a bigger plan by the accused to undermine the abuse case and force Child and Family Services to return the children to their parents.

"There is clearly an effort here to interfere with the children in care," Lonstrup told Brandon provincial court on Monday during a bail hearing for one of the accused.

The accused, and the Mennonite community involved, can't be named in order to protect the identity of the children in the ongoing abuse case.

The two women, aged 24 and 22, and the 72-year-old man appeared in a southern Manitoba courtroom on Monday. The women remain in custody pending their next court appearance on Thursday, and the man was granted bail and given a next court date of Sept. 23.

Each is charged with abduction, forcible confinement, obstructing justice and an offence under the Child and Family Services Act. The women also face assault charges in relation to the initial abuse allegations.

Lonstrup described how police first began an investigation in the summer of 2012 into allegations of widespread sexual abuse at the Old Order Mennonite community. The allegations involved a number of children and their parents.

Lonstrup said police determined the allegations of sexual abuse were unfounded. But during that investigation it was discovered many of the adults in the community had allegedly used physical abuse to solicit false allegations of sexual abuse from the children. The scope of the abuse involved almost every family in the community, and CFS apprehended every child under the age of 18 years.

In June, police arrested Mennonite adults accused of physical abuse. At last report, their number totalled 13. The two female accused in question couldn't be found, and Manitoba-wide warrants were issued for their arrest.

The man accused of abduction and obstruction is not a member of the Mennonite community but was considered a trusted friend. He provided a home to two of the Mennonite men who were later charged in connection with the alleged abuse when they were released on bail orders that forbid them from being at the community.

On Jan. 21, one of the apprehended girls went missing from her foster home at the community. Police investigated and the girl was returned by the man, who said he'd driven her to Winnipeg to see a lawyer. He wasn't charged.

Then, on May 26, two other children went missing from their foster placements near Winkler. They were found at the Mennonite community the next day and said they ran away from their foster home and were driven back to their community by the man. Again, it appears no charges were laid.

The man's charges relate to a 13-year-old boy who went missing from his foster placement at the Mennonite community in late May.

The teen was found in a home near Yorkton, Sask., on Thursday with the two fugitive Mennonite women.

-- Brandon Sun

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 10, 2013 A7

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

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Total Body Tune-Up: Farmer's Carry

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • The sun peers through the fog to illuminate a tree covered in hoar frost near Headingley, Manitoba Thursday- Standup photo- February 02, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Young goslings are growing up quickly near Cresent Lake in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba- See Bryksa 30 Day goose project- Day 11- May 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Do you think the Jets will win Game 4 on Wednesday?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google