Samuel Bateman, 46, is an alleged cult leader who is believed to have indulged in trafficking children for sex, has allegedly attempted to marry his own daughter by luring her with snacks and money.

According to an affidavit filed by the FBI on Friday, Bateman has been involved in group sex that involved children as young as nine years old. He has also allegedly married around 20 women, among whom most are under the age of 15.

Who is Samuel Bateman?

Samuel Bateman, whose full name is Samuel Rappylee Bateman, is a leader of an offshoot of the Mormon Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. 

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In September 2022, the FBI had raided two homes belonging to Bateman in Colorado City. Since then, he has been arrested and held at an Arizona jail. The FBI has accused him to trying to destroy evidence related to a federal investigation. 

After Bateman’s arrest, a total of nine girls were rescued by child welfare services from his homes. All of them were between the ages of 11 and 16. 

Bateman was earlier jailed in August 2022 when three girls were found in his truck that state authorities had stopped on a highway. He was accused of child abuse but had pleaded not guilty. 

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The FBI affidavit claims that since Bateman began calling himself a prophet, he had amassed “approximately 50 followers and more than 20 wives, many of whom are minors, most of whom are under the age of 15.”

FBI Special Agent Dawn A. Martin has come across audio recordings that were captured in November 2021, in which Bateman can be allegedly heard saying that his daughters had “sacrificed their virtue for the Lord”. The affidavit alleges that Bateman proceeded to watch three adult males having sex with his underage daughters.