FBI affidavit reveals shocking allegations against Arizona based polygamist sect leader Samuel Rappylee Bateman, 46
Witnesses accuse Bateman, 46, of marrying up to 20 women and underage girls, including his own daughter
Among Bateman’s 20 wives includes at least one, allegedly as young as nine
Bateman allegedly engaged in group sex acts with his followers and underage children
Though he owns two Bentleys, he is accused of transporting his ‘wives’ in the back of a squalid trailer
A new FBI affidavit filed in the Eastern District of Washington has revealed shocking allegations of depraved sexual battery against breakaway FLDS sect leader Samuel Rappylee Bateman who was arrested in Arizona earlier this year.
The Arizona polygamist cult leader Bateman is accused by witnesses of ‘marrying’ up to 20 women and girls as young as nine, including his own daughter, according to the affidavit filed on Friday, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Oddly enough Bentley-driving Bateman, 46, and drove his spouses around in a trailer with a bucket for a toilet, the affidavit claimed.
He has been in federal custody on obstruction charges since his September arrest, which unfolded after Bateman was pulled over by cops while transporting underage girls inside a squalid trailer furnished with a couch and a bucket for a toilet.
According to police, the trailer contained a makeshift toilet made out of a plastic bucket, a trash bag and a toilet seat; a couch; camping chairs and “a variety of other items.”
The temperature inside the trailer, which had no air vents, was “hotter than outside,” which was 81 degrees on the day.
Furthermore the police report added, the group of two adult females and the five girls said they were headed for Phoenix or Tucson, where the temperature was in the triple digits.
The girls were briefly removed and then returned. Then nine girls were taken into state custody the next day.
Bateman leads a splinter group of the radical Mormon offshoot Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS — but Bateman is apparently so extreme that he has been denounced even by former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs, who himself is a convicted serial child rapist.
The affidavit outlines sickening allegations of incest, group sex acts involving adults and underage children, and child sex trafficking.
Witness statements cited in the filing claim that Bateman ‘began to proclaim he was a prophet’ and declared his intention to marry his own teenage daughter in 2019. He has since gathered ‘approximately 50 followers and more than 20 wives, many of whom are minors, mostly under the age of 15,’ the affidavit states.
Evidence cited in the affidavit include recordings of Bateman himself, speaking to a couple in Colorado City, Arizona, who do outreach to the polygamy community there and are filming a documentary.
In one instance Bateman allegedly, told the couple that ‘Heavenly Father’ had instructed him in early November 2021 to ‘give the most precious thing he has, which he interpreted as his the ‘virtue of his girls,’ to three of his adult male followers.
Bateman then allegedly watched as the three men had sex with his daughters, one of whom was just 12, according to the affidavit.
Bateman allegedly commented that the girls had ‘sacrificed their virtue for the Lord,’ and went on to say: ‘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 affidavit further alleges that in late 2020, Bateman drove to the Colorado City couple’s home ‘in a large SUV packed with women and girls,’ where he ‘introduced everyone as his wives.’
The youngest of the so-called ‘wives’ was a girl born in 2011, meaning the girl would have been nine at the oldest.
The affidavit also notes that Bateman owned two Bentleys, though it seems his ‘wives’ traveled in less style.
Bateman’s initial encounter with the law came in August, when he was pulled over by a state trooper in northern Arizona towing a box trailer ‘full of people including children,’ according to AZFamily.com.
The trooper saw ‘children’s small fingers moving in the gap of the rear trailer door’ as he pulled up behind the trailer, according to a police statement.
Police said there were three girls in the trailer, all between the ages of 11 and 14 years old, along with a couch, camper chairs, and a toilet made from a bucket. With Bateman in the SUV towing the trailer were two women and two girls under the age of 15.
According to the according to the affidavit from Special Agent Dawn A. Martin filed Friday in federal court in Spokane, Washington, where eight girls who had been removed from Bateman’s homes by the Arizona Department of Child Safety on September 14, were recovered December 1.
The girls had disappeared on November 27, from group homes in the suburbs of Phoenix.
Most of the wives are daughters, sisters and mothers drawn from two extended polygamous families, Martin said.
Bateman was later arrested and charged locally with three counts of child abuse.
Federal prosecutors say that while he was being held in the Coconino County Jail in Flagstaff on those local charged, he talked to his supporters in Colorado City and instructed them to delete communications sent through the encrypted messaging app Signal, and demanded all women and girls obtain passports.
Bateman posted bond on the state charges, but weeks later he was hit with a federal indictment charging him with three counts of destroying or attempting to destroy records, and tampering with criminal proceedings, in reference to his instructions to his followers. He would plead not guilty in U.S. Magistrate Court in Flagstaff
Federal prosecutor Patrick Schneider said in September that the state child welfare agency had removed children from Bateman’s home in Colorado City, where the FBI had recently executed a search warrant.
Bateman has not been charged with sex crimes against children, though the new FBI affidavit said the FBI has probable cause to believe he and others transported minors between Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Nebraska to engage in illicit sexual conduct between May 2020 and November 2021.
Bateman was a former member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS, until he left in recent years and started his own small offshoot group, said FBI agent Sam Brower, who has spent years investigating the group.
Bateman was once among the trusted followers of imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs, but Jeffs recently denounced Bateman in a written revelation sent to his followers from prison, Brower said.
Bateman’s group still practices plural marriage with a small following of fewer than 100 people, Brower estimated Brower.
Bateman’s attorney, Adam Zickerman, in September cautioned against inferring the federal case was about religious persecution, though he didn’t specify Bateman’s faith or say if he practices polygamy. Zickerman said Bateman is not a danger to the community.
Schneider cited a pretrial services report in saying that Bateman had relationships with multiple women but also didn’t mention whether Bateman belonged to any polygamous groups.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Camille Bibles ordered that Bateman remain behind bars while the case winds through the courts. She noted Bateman is a pilot and survivalist who has followers and international contacts who might help with financial or other resources on a moment’s notice. She said she also was concerned about young girls in vulnerable positions.