Polygamist Cult Leader Who Has More Than 20 Wives Allegedly Married His Own Daughter

Samuel Rappylee Bateman, who was arrested in September 2022 on federal charges, is accused of child abuse and child sex trafficking.

December 14, 2022
Samuel Rappylee Bateman, pictured here in his mugshot, was booked into jail on three counts of child abuse.

Samuel Rappylee Bateman, a self-proclaimed “prophet” who is a leader of an offshoot of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, allegedly has over 20 wives, including minors who are under 15 years of age.

Photo by: Coconino County Sheriff's Office

Coconino County Sheriff's Office

Samuel Rappylee Bateman, a self-proclaimed “prophet” who is a leader of an offshoot of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, allegedly has over 20 wives, including minors who are under 15 years of age. One is his own 9-year-old daughter, according to the FBI in an affidavit that was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Washington on Dec. 2, 2022.

The 46-year-old man has been taken into federal custody in Arizona. He was arrested in August after he was caught transporting a trailer with three young girls between the ages of 11 and 14. He posted bail in that incident, but then in September, Bateman was charged with destroying records and obstruction of justice after he asked his followers to delete his Signal phone app that he used as a primary communication tool for his many wives and followers. There was an ongoing investigation into whether children were being taken for sexual activity across state lines, according to the BBC. Bateman is also facing state-level child abuse charges.

NBC News reported that, on Sept. 14, nine girls were removed from the cult and placed with the Arizona Department of Child Services. The girls didn’t disclose “actual sexual abuse by Bateman, but at least one admitted being present and partially nude” for sex orgies, according to the FBI affidavit.

Eight of those girls ran away from the group on Nov. 27, and then a police sergeant spotted one of Bateman’s wives driving a car with all eight of the missing girls as her passengers. That wife is listed as a defendant in the case for kidnapping and obstruction.

The Washington Post reported that Bateman began exploring polygamy in 2019. At the time, he was married to one woman, and they shared a 14-year-old daughter. One day, while driving in the car with his teen daughter, he told her that he felt like she was his wife and might make her have a child with him. When he told his wife about this plan, she moved out and took their daughter with her.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Bateman started gathering wives that next spring. He chose young women, underage girls, and even adult wives of his followers to become his wives. He arranged and participated in group sex acts with them.

The FBI affidavit alleges that Bateman told a couple that he had been instructed by God to “give the most precious thing he has, his girls’ virtue,” to three adult male followers, and he intended to watch.

FBI Special Agent Dawn A. Martin stated that Bateman claimed to sacrifice the children’s virtue for the lord. “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,” Bateman allegedly said.

Adam Zickerman, Bateman’s attorney, said in a statement, “This case continues to appear to be a quest for religious persecution; and Mr. Bateman maintains his innocence throughout it.”

Next Up

Missing 13-Year-Old Girl Found Locked In Man’s Shed Over 1,000 Miles From Her Home

A 13-year-old Texas girl was rescued after being kidnapped and held captive in a North Carolina shed by a man she met while gaming online.

Daycare Owner Who Shot Husband Who Allegedly Molested Children Says She Won’t Apologize Until He Does

Shanteari Weems shot her husband in July 2022 after she confronted him about allegations that he molested children at the daycare center she owned.

R. Kelly Sentenced To 20 Years In Federal Child Porn Case

The R&B singer was already serving 30 years for sex trafficking when he was convicted of three of four counts of production of child pornography and three of five counts of enticement of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.

'I Was Definitely Brainwashed': Onision's Youngest Alleged Victim Speaks Out

Sarah alleges years of grooming, inappropriate sexual behavior and abuse at the hands of the YouTuber, beginning when she was just 14 years old.

Angelina Jolie Details Abuse Allegations Against Brad Pitt in Countersuit

The actress alleges that her ex-husband was physically abusive toward her and their children on a plane ride in 2016.

U.S. Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted Found Dead In South Carolina

Frederick McLean was on the U.S. Marshals Top 15 Most Wanted since 2006. Investigators said McLean lived in Poughkeepsie, NY and Anderson, SC. He used a number of alises over the years and investigators are concerned other victims are still out there.

The FBI Is Hoping You Can Help Identify This Male In Alleged Sexual Exploitation Case Involving Infant

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is hoping someone can identify a man they are calling, "John Doe 45." The suspect may have critical information about helping to identify an infant victim in a sexual exploitation investigation, agents said. If you know anything, please contact the FBI directly: 800-CALL-FBI.

Fugitive Sherman Jackson Is On The Government's Elite G7 List Of Sexual Predators

Accused sexual predator Sherman Jackson is computer savvy, could be working as a tech in the industry. He may be connected to a church to have better access to children and could have multiple social media accounts. John Walsh guarantees you can remain anonymous. If you have any information, please call or text: 833-378-7783 (3-PURSUE).

‘In Pursuit With John Walsh’ And FBI Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Michael Pratt Captured

On Dec. 23, the FBI confirmed they captured fugitive Michael Pratt in Spain. Pratt was arrested in connection with the operation of the GirlsDoPorn adult website.