The Federal Investigation Agency FBI has arrested a man who was allegedly calling himself a prophet. The man has been arrested on the Arizona-Utah border, who allegedly has 20 wives.
Image Credit source: AFP
America Federal Investigation Agency of FBI has arrested a man who allegedly impersonated Prophet Was telling The man has been arrested on the Arizona-Utah border, who allegedly has 20 wives. The surprising thing is that most of the wives of the man are minors. Recently filed federal court documents show that he used to punish those followers of his group who did not respect him as a prophet.
The man has been identified as Samuel Bateman, who was formerly a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or FLDS, but later left the organization to form his own small group. According to an FBI affidavit, she was helped financially by the group’s male followers, who abandoned their wives and children to become Bateman’s wives.
How was the matter revealed?
Documents filed by the FBI on Friday also detail what investigators have learned so far in the case, first made public in August. It charged three of Bateman’s wives—Naomi Bistline, Donna Barlow and Moretta Rose Johnson—with kidnapping and obstruction of possible prosecution. Bistline and Barlow are due to appear in federal magistrate court in Flagstaff on Wednesday. Johnson is to be extradited from Washington state.
The women are accused of fleeing with eight of Bateman’s children, who were placed in Arizona state custody earlier this year. The children were found hundreds of kilometers away in Spokane, Washington, last week. Bateman was arrested in August after someone noticed tiny fingers stuck inside a trailer he was driving in Flagstaff. He posted bond but was arrested again and charged with obstruction of justice in a federal investigation. The agency also probed whether children were being taken outside the state limits for sexual activity.
Declared himself a prophet in 2019
Court documents allege Bateman, 46, is involved in child sex trafficking and polygamy, but none of his current charges are related to those allegations. Polygamy is illegal in Arizona but was decriminalized in Utah in 2020. The FBI affidavit filed in the women’s case focuses largely on Bateman, who declared himself a prophet in 2019.
Bateman says that he was told by former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs to invoke the Spirit of God on these people. The affidavit details the explicit sexual acts in which Bateman and his followers engaged in fulfilling divine obligations. Jeffs is serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for child sexual abuse related to marriage at an early age.
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