You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Self-proclaimed prophet Samuel Bateman had 20 wives, most of them minor: FBI

WION logo WION 08-12-2022 (Wion Web Team)
© Provided by WION

A self-proclaimed prophet and a cult leader of a small polygamous group in US had more than 20 wives, most of them minors, and punished his followers who failed to recognise his divine powers, according to FBI’s affidavit filed in federal court.

Samuel Bateman, 46, was arrested in August and charged in September after he was found transporting three minor children, aged between 11 and 14, believed to be for sexual activity. It has been claimed that  Bateman engaged in child sex trafficking and polygamy.

According to the FBI, Bateman used to engage in sexual acts with women who were given up by their husbands to be his wife. He claimed that it was God's will for him to engage in such acts.

Bateman was a former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and later left to start his own small offshoot group near the Arizona-Utah border. He was financially supported by his male followers.

The court documents that were revealed on Wednesday provide fresh insight into what investigators found in the case that first became public in August, Sky News reports.

The FBI filed the affidavit a day after the enforcement officials tracked down eight girls who were under Bateman's care. They had escaped from their group homes in Arizona, the affidavit said.

The state authorities managed to track them down after an officer spotted a vehicle driven by one of Bateman's wives, according to the affidavit.

The FLDS Church was designated as a hate group by the Southern Law Poverty Center.

In 2011, an FLDS leader was jailed for life for sexually assaulting two underage followers he took as brides.

(With inputs from agencies)


More from WION

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon