A “self-proclaimed prophet” had greater than 20 wives, together with minors, and mentioned it was the “Heavenly Father’s will” he take part in intercourse acts with them, in line with an FBI affidavit.
Samuel Rappylee Bateman, of Colorado Metropolis, Arizona, mentioned it was the desire of God to encourage his followers, “together with the minor youngsters, to interact in sexual acts,” in line with the affidavit filed Friday in federal court docket within the Japanese District of Washington.
Bateman was the chief of a department of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the affidavit mentioned.
The affidavit was filed someday after authorities tracked down eight women — who had been beneath Bateman’s care however have been positioned in state custody in Arizona — to an Airbnb in Washington state. The women had escaped from their group properties in Arizona, the affidavit mentioned.
On Sept. 14, 9 women have been taken into custody with the Arizona Division of Youngster Companies, in line with the affidavit. None of them “disclosed precise sexual abuse by Bateman, however a minimum of one admitted being current and partially nude” for intercourse orgies, the affidavit mentioned.
Eight of the 9 women on Nov. 27 ran away from group properties the place they have been in state custody, in line with the affidavit.
On Thursday, a sergeant with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Workplace noticed a car pushed by considered one of Bateman’s wives wherein all eight of the lacking women have been passengers, the affidavit mentioned.
The affidavit named Bateman’s spouse as a defendant within the ongoing legal case for kidnapping and obstruction.
Bateman has not been charged with intercourse crimes, though the affidavit mentioned there’s possible trigger he participated in sexual exercise with minors who have been transported between Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Nebraska in 2020 and 2021.
Legal professionals for Bateman couldn’t be instantly reached Tuesday.
A defendant named within the affidavit turned considered one of Bateman’s wives when she was beneath 18. She gave delivery seven months after she turned 18, the affidavit mentioned. She is accused of kidnapping and obstruction together with two different girls, the affidavit mentioned.
In 2019, Bateman started to proclaim he was a prophet translated from Warren Jeffs, who Bateman and his followers known as “Uncle Warren,” the affidavit mentioned.
In 2019, Bateman was married to at least one girl and had a daughter who had been born in 2005, the affidavit mentioned.
The girl left Bateman and that is when he started accumulating wives, the affidavit mentioned.
A number of the info supplied to an FBI agent within the affidavit got here from two folks, a girl who Bateman believed was making an attempt to assist members of his group, and her husband, who was filming a documentary.
In December 2020, Bateman drove to the couple’s residence in Colorado Metropolis “in a big SUV full of girls and women. Bateman launched everybody as his wives,” the affidavit mentioned. The youngest of the women was born in 2011, in line with the affidavit.
A minor associated to Bateman was interviewed on video in December 2020, in line with the affidavit. A assessment of the video decided Bateman requested the minor if she prayed about who she was going to marry. The lady responded she hadn’t as a result of she was too younger. Bateman then advised her, the affidavit mentioned, he “felt like she was his spouse.”
The lady additionally advised investigators Bateman had hugged and kissed her and one of many kisses was a “nasty kiss” she described as “slobbery.”
The affidavit mentioned investigators had additionally secured different proof within the type of journals from a few of Bateman’s wives, in line with the FBI agent who wrote the affidavit.
“I’ve reviewed quite a lot of the journals seized in the course of the search warrants, and there are particulars referenced by a number of of the women about sleeping with Bateman, kissing him, and touching him,” the affidavit mentioned.
Bateman was 46 in September when he was arrested following a separate indictment on expenses of destroying information in a federal investigation.
The federal expenses allege destruction of information or an try to destroy information in an official continuing; tampering or making an attempt to tamper with an official continuing; and destruction of information in a federal investigation, authorities have mentioned.
That indictment alleges that on Aug. 28, Bateman destroyed or tried to destroy information, by deleting or aiding and abetting others to delete, digital communications related to Sign accounts, prosecutors mentioned. Sign is an encrypted messaging software. The indictment additionally alleged that Bateman did so with a purpose to impede, affect, and impede an investigation and prosecution in federal court docket.
Bateman was utilizing Sign to speak together with his wives and followers, prosecutors mentioned.Bateman has pleaded not responsible.
Donna Mendell contributed.