February 7, 2023

USA: Polygamist Cult Prophet Of FLDS Mormon Church With 20 Wives Caught Towing Underage Girls In Trailer, Charged With Kidnapping Nearly A Dozen Girls From State Children's Group Homes

I just found out about this case. So that's why I'm just now sharing this news with you. (emphasis mine)
Law And Crime pubilshed February 1, 2023: Polygamist Cult 'Prophet' Sam Bateman Caught Towing Underage Girls in Trailer with Porta-Potty.

WATCH: Bodycam footage shows Arizona police arresting polygamist cult "prophet" Samuel Bateman after he was found traveling with underage girls inside a squalid trailer in August. Authorities said a witness told police he saw human fingers poking out of Bateman's trailer prior to the traffic stop. The video shows officers questioning the self-proclaimed "prophet" about who he's traveling with before opening the trailer and discovering the disturbing conditions inside. The trailer along with the girls appeared to have a porta-potty, couch, blankets, food, and a stroller. Bateman faces charges of federal kidnapping and tampering with evidence and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
KREM 2 News published December 5, 2022: 8 underage girls suspected to be wives of FLDS leader rescued in Spokane. According to investigators, Samuel Bateman has engaged in criminal sexual activity for years and claims to have more than 20 wives, almost all under the age of 15.
12 News published December 15, 2022: Federal grand jury indicts Arizona polygamists. Samuel Bateman, along with 3 of his wives are accused of organizing the kidnapping of underage children.
AZFamily Arizona pubilshed December 5, 2022: Group of Arizona FLDS girls found in Washington Airbnb. New documents now reveal how Bateman has been able to coerce these young girls and multiple wives, even while locked up.

written by Haven Orecchio-Egresitz
Thursday December 29, 2023

Samuel Bateman, the 46-year-old leader of a polygamous splinter sect linked to cult leader Warren Jeffs, was in court this week where he faced new criminal charges alleging he masterminded kidnapping nearly a dozen girls from state children's group homes.

Bateman, a self-styled prophet in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was first arrested on state charges in August after three young girls were found hidden in a cargo trailer that law enforcement said he was towing on a highway in Flagstaff, Arizona — over 1,000 miles from the FLDS stronghold in Colorado City.

Local officials then raided Arizona residences used by Bateman — who has 20 wives, most of them children — and nine girls were placed in Arizona Department of Child Safety group homes, according to the FBI.

On Wednesday, Bateman pleaded not guilty to new charges in federal court in Phoenix, Arizona after the FBI alleged that he arranged for three of his adult wives to kidnap 8 of those minor girls from the children's group home where they were being cared for.

"On November 27, 2022, eight of the nine minor females ran away from DCS group homes," Dawn Martin, an FBI special agent, wrote in an affidavit filed in federal courts in Washington and Arizona.

The FBI says that Bateman conspired with three women — Moretta Johnson, Naomi Bistline, and Donnae Barlow — to assist the girls in escaping state care. They are charged with tampering with and destroying evidence and aiding in kidnapping the girls.

The women picked the girls up and then transported them to Spokane, Washington by car, where they were found on December 1 in an AirBnb, according to federal court documents.

Polygamy and sexual abuse

The FLDS has long been run by Warren Jeffs, a notorious cult leader who has run the group from prison since 2006.

Bateman, who for years had tried to work his way into Jeff's inner circle, recently declared himself prophet, one of Warren Jeffs' sons previously told Insider.

While most members of the FLDS still consider Jeffs prophet, the FBI says Bateman now has a small group of 50 followers.

While Bateman has not been charged with federal sex trafficking charges, an affidavit filed in the case details allegations of sexual abuse of minor girls in the sect.

When the girls were placed into state care in September, federal investigators began reviewing some of their journals, which were seized from Bateman's homes.

The journal entries detailed kissing, sleeping with, and touching the 46-year-old Bateman. In interviews with the FBI, informants detailed some of Bateman's alleged treatment of his underage wives, including a wine-fueled orgy in which they were made to watch him have sex with their father before they were forced to have sex with other men.

One informant told investigators that Bateman complained to some of his wives that another one of his child brides — no older than 10 — was wetting the bed. Bateman also told his own underage daughter he was meant to marry and impregnate her, and on several occasions kissed her inappropriately in front of other followers, according to the FBI report.

In initial forensic interviews, though, the girls didn't report sexual abuse, and Martin said she believes that the older girls were keeping the younger ones from talking.

It wasn't until a day before Thanksgiving that one of the nine girls in state care said that Bateman had sexually abused her, according to the FBI affidavit.

Days later, eight of the girls took off, prompting investigators to once again turn to electronic devices and journals they left behind for answers.

They learned the girls had been communicating with Bateman's older wives through a encrypted group chat on Signal.

In a journal entry on November 27, one girl wrote, "today is the day we go home," according to the affidavit.

A trial was scheduled for Bateman on Jan. 10, but his lawyers have requested more time to prepare.

Attorney Andrew Marcantel, who represents Bateman, told Insider he expects the trial to be postponed.
WB Flds Breakoffs pubilshed February 21, 2021: FLDS man GIVES AWAY wives and children to his prophet! (full audio). In this audio clip Moroni Johnson says he 'surrenders' his wives and children to Samuel Bateman, that they belong to the 'prophet'.

Daily Mail, UK
written by Ruth Styles in Colorado City, Arizona
Sunday January 5, 2023

A former follower of self-styled 'prophet' Samuel Rappylee Bateman has told how the depraved 46-year-old took advantage of his deep-seated Mormon faith and controlled him with a toxic mix of physical, mental and sexual abuse.

So devoted was businessman Moroni Johnson, 51, he allowed scheming Bateman to marry several of his wives and most of his daughters – and funded his lavish lifestyle which included two sprawling homes in Colorado City, Arizona, and a fleet of Bentley cars.

He took part in humiliating rituals on Bateman's orders and was, on one occasion, made to have sex with one of his wives in front of their daughters in order to show them how to 'please' the pervert prophet.

And despite his obedience to the man he believed was 'the voice of God on Earth', Johnson was being lined up for a bizarre ritual called 'blood atonement' that would have ended with his death at the time Bateman was arrested in August.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, Johnson said: 'We were taught perfect obedience produces perfect faith. If there is a Supreme Being, wouldn't you want to meet him?

'He [Bateman] preyed on our devotion to scripture.'

Pervert Bateman, 46, is currently in jail in Florence, Arizona, and appeared in court in Phoenix in December to be arraigned on multiple federal charges, among them kidnap and evidence tampering.

Along with wives Donnae Barlow, Naomi Bistline and Moretta Rose Johnson, Bateman is scheduled to go on trial starting January 10 and is facing a possible life sentence.

All four are charged with kidnapping over the removal of eight of nine of Bateman's underage 'wives' from group homes in Phoenix in late November.

Bateman is also facing a second set of child endangerment charges in Arizona after he was caught towing three of his underage wives in a box trailer kitted out with a makeshift toilet through Flagstaff in August.

For Johnson, the impending trial is the latest twist in a story that has seen him lose nearly all that he held dear while dealing with the betrayal of a man in whom he truly believed.

Johnson told DailyMail.com, his faith in Bateman endured even after he had been ordered to hand over his underage daughters – against his wishes – and had been ostracized for a year due to his reluctance to give them up.

An FBI affidavit filed in Spokane reveals his anguish and confusion at having to give up his younger girls but Johnson says he felt he had no choice, telling DailyMail.com: 'He would just see a woman and say 'she's mine'. He co-opted our love for the prophets.'

He added: 'At that point, who was I to question God?'

The scales only fell from his eyes after his first wife, named in court papers as JJ, revealed Bateman had been planning his death – and had wanted to include her in the 'blood atonement' ritual.

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