According to FBI records, an Arizona cult leader married up to 20 different women and girls as young as nine, including his own daughter.
Polygamist Mormon leader Samuel Rappylee Bateman, 46, led a small sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS).
An FBI document seen by the Salt Lake Tribune claims that after Bateman took control of the tiny group of about 50 followers in 2019, he “began to assert he was a prophet” and announced his plan to marry his own teenage daughter.
The FBI says that Bateman married up to 20 women, “many of whom are juveniles, usually under the age of 15,” and subjected them to terrible acts of incest, pedophilic group intercourse, and child sex trafficking.
The letter references a disturbing instance in which Bateman allegedly ordered three male followers to have sex with his children, one of them was only 12 years old.
Bateman allegedly said the girls “sacrificed their virtue for the Lord” and that “God will fix their bodies and put the membrane back in their body.”
I trust in doing his will more than ever before. Why? Because I adore you.
Bateman was ultimately brought down to earth in September of this year when local police apprehended him while he was transporting minor girls across state borders in a filthy, unsecured trailer with only a sofa and a bucket for a bathroom.
Initially, he was pulled over because a state trooper had reported seeing “children’s little fingers moving in the gap of the back trailer door.”
Media in his area reported that two women and two girls less than 15 were in his vehicle.
Three young women, ranging in age from 11 to 14, were present in the trailer.
Bateman was taken into local custody after the incident and charged with three charges of child abuse; however, he was able to post bond and go free.
After he ordered his followers to delete messages received via an encrypted private messaging system and commanded all women and girls to obtain passports, he was quickly caught again by federal officials who accused him of three charges of deleting records.
Since then, the FBI has launched many raids at Bateman’s two residences, taking nine girls into protective custody. Their whereabouts at this time are unknown.
A federal magistrate judge in the United States, Camille Bibles, has ruled that Bateman must remain in custody while his case proceeds.
She pointed out that Bateman is a pilot and survivalist with a network of supporters and foreign connections who may potentially provide assistance in a time of need.
Young girls in precarious situations were also a source of concern for her, she said. She emphasized that the judicial system has a special responsibility to defend those who are unable to do it on their own.
Bateman’s sect is an offshoot of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ, whose leader, Warren Jeffs, is also doing time in jail for sexually abusing two girls.
The Tribune notes that although a picture of the previous leader was discovered in a bedroom in one of the houses raided by the FBI, the splinter group considers itself different from Jeff’s version of the FLDS church.
Their full name is the Fundamental FLDS, although they’re also known as the Samuel Bateman group or the Samuelites.
They look up to Bateman and refer to him as “father” since they see him as their leader. An abandoned Post-it note was discovered in the Tuesday warehouse search.
The name “Samuel Rappylee Bateman” was written in black Sharpie. Say it with me: “I am here to do your will.”
It said, “I LOVE YOU FOREVER,” in all capital letters, beneath a row of hand-drawn hearts.