Man With 20 Wives Including Minors Facing Charges

Polygamous group leader Samuel Bateman, after pleading not guilty to several charges in September, is now facing additional charges. Bateman is the leader of a small group that practises polygamy near the Arizona-Utah border.

Bateman who started his own offshoot after being a member of a Christian church was alleged to have no less than 20 wives, most of which were still minors. According to federal court documents that were filed, it was also reported that the accused would make an example of any of the group members who failed to treat him like a prophet.

Provided by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office, shows Samuel Bateman – Coconino County Sheriff’s Department via AP

New information provided last Friday state that Bateman was pulled over where law enforcement noted that he was driving with three young children, all girls, in a confined trailer. The case against the accused was first made public back in August of this year.

Along with the previous federal and state charges of tampering with evidence and child abuse, the fresh charges accompanying the new filing are charges of kidnapping and impeding a foreseeable prosecution against three of Bateman’s wives; Moretta Rose Johnson, Naomi Bistline, and Donnae Barlow.

Bateman was previously a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, referred to as the FLDS, before leaving to start his group which was based around polygamy. Active only since recent years as reported by an FBI attestation, the group is held afloat financially thanks to the male followers who handed over their own wives and children to become the wives of Bateman.

The FLDS, an offshoot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more likely to be known by the name Mormon Church, used to practise polygamy in its early teachings in accordance with the orthodox church, did away with polygamy in 1890 and now shun its practise.


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