A US-based polygamist cult leader has allegedly married over 20 women including his own daughter, and a majority of these women are under the age of 15. The man was identified to be Samuel Rappylee Bateman, according to an FBI affidavit procured by the Salt Lake Tribune. The affidavit that was filed in Washington on Friday alleges the 46-year-old man of incest, involved in group sex acts with girls as young as nine, along with child trafficking.
According to the agency, the affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Dawn A Martin claims the cult leader began proclaiming he was a “prophet” back in 2019 and quickly gained a following of over 50 followers and 20 wives. Notably, November 2021 assessed audio recording of Bateman’s conversation states the leader saying it was the ‘Heavenly father’ who instructed the man to “give the most precious thing he has, his girls’ virtue,” to three other adult male followers of his cult.
During the investigation, as mentioned in the affidavit, the man was quoted saying, his daughters “sacrificed their virtue for the Lord. God will fix their bodies and put the membrane back in their body. I’ve never had more confidence in doing his will. It’s all out of love.” The report stated that Bateman was first arrested on August 28, however, it was not by the FBI or any other allegations submitted in the affidavit. Reportedly, Bateman was pulled by the Arizona Department of Public Safety when he was transporting a box trailer consisting of multiple girls.
Just weeks later, on September 13, the FBI raided the man’s two homes seemingly looking for evidence of sexual assault and underage marriages between children and adults.
The FBI states that they have probable cause to believe Bateman has transported minors for illicit sexual conduct between multiple states including Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and more between May 2020 to November 2021. The cult leader who is currently in an Arizona jail is facing three counts of child abuse owing to being caught riding the box trailer with girls. He is also being charged with allegedly instructing his followers to delete digital evidence on a mobile application. But he has not been charged with any counts of allegations of sexual abuse.
During the raid, reportedly nine girls were briefly removed from the cult leader’s homes, and they were also taken into custody. On Thursday, December 2, eight of nine girls were rescued from Spokane. But now they’ve seemingly absconded.
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