Arizona

Accused cult leader who drives Bentley has 20 wives aged 9, may have married daughter of own, FBI alleges

The FBI is charging a 46-year-old suspected leader of a polygamous Arizona cult with having 20 wives, many of whom were minors — aged just 9 — and possibly marrying his own daughter.

The wives were allegedly smuggled across state lines in a trailer – forced to use a bucket as a toilet – while the self-proclaimed prophet drove two Bentleys while facilitating failed deals in real estate and goal coaching.

Samuel Rappylee Bateman – along with his co-conspirators and accomplices and accomplices – is accused of being involved in the transportation of minors in interstate commerce to engage in criminal sexual activity and touring interstate commerce to engage in criminal sexual activity between May 2020 and November engaging in illegal sexual activity with a minor 2021, between Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Nebraska. He was first indicted by a federal grand jury on Sept. 6.

The investigation found that on August 28, 2022, Bateman, with aides and accomplices, committed an obstruction of justice by destroying records of their illegal actions, according to federal prosecutors.

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Bateman is a self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS), a subgroup of the Fundamentalist Mormon denominations whose members practice polygamy.

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According to a new FBI affidavit included in a criminal complaint filed against three newly indicted co-conspirators, it was revealed that Bateman allegedly has “approximately 50 followers and over 20 women, many of whom are minors and mostly under the age of 15.” “Bateman allegedly has ‘impressions of Heavenly Father’s will’ to encourage his followers, including minor children, to engage in sexual activity and relies on this submission to do his own will.”

The probable cause affidavit was filed in federal court Friday by FBI Agent Dawn A. Martin.

Some of Bateman’s wives were the wives or daughters of Bateman’s male supporters.

Bateman is also accused of trying to marry his own daughter. According to the affidavit, Martin spoke to a couple familiar with Bateman who were making a documentary about the community.

According to the affidavit, around November or December 2020, Bateman drove to the couple’s home in Colorado City, Arizona, in a large SUV full of women and girls. Bateman introduced all as his wives. The youngest of the girls was born in 2011, meaning she was the oldest at 9 years old.

polygamous wives

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, FLDS Church, Mormon Denomination, Visiting Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park.

The affidavit also describes video calls where Bateman and everyone else on the call was reportedly naked and engaging in group sex acts. In a so-called “Binding of Brothers” ritual, Bateman allegedly often had sex with the wives of his male followers while other men and underage girls looked on.

Bateman, who has failed business ventures in real estate and goal coaching, had attended MasterMind conferences in Cancun, Mexico. The affidavit states that Bateman drove two Bentleys.

Meanwhile, his underage wives were reportedly being transported in a trailer with a bucket and garbage bag as a makeshift toilet.

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Women and children from the YFZ ranch, the compound established by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, will be taken by bus to San Angelo, Texas on Sunday, April 6, 2008. Authorities are investigating allegations of child abuse.

On Nov. 1, 2021, Bateman allegedly claimed the “Heavenly Father” told him to give “the most precious thing he has, the virtue of his girls,” to three of his male followers in a group sex act, according to audio and video recordings in the affidavit statement quoted. One of the girls involved was just 12 years old.

“The girls who were crying on the recording said they were hurting, but there was no darkness. Bateman said the girls sacrificed their virtue for the Lord,” the affidavit reads. “Bateman said, ‘God will fix their bodies and put the membrane back in their bodies. I have never had more confidence in doing His will. It’s all for love.’ The girls ended with, ‘It’s a privilege to hurt someone else so they can get up.'”

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In 2019, Bateman began proclaiming he was a prophet, translated by Warren Jeffs, whom Bateman and his followers often refer to as “Uncle Warren.” Jeffs was the former leader of the FLDS church. He reportedly had as many as 78 wives, including minors.

In 2006, Jeffs was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for fleeing allegations of arranging illegal marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls in Utah. Jeffs has been charged with multiple crimes related to the sexual assault of a minor in three states and is currently serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting some of his underage wives.

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