- Prosecutors added child pornography charges and details about children he took as wives to their case against the leader of a small polygamous group in Utah.
- A federal grand jury on Wednesday issued a superseding indictment against 47-year-old Samuel Bateman.
- The latest indictment expands upon those allegations and says Bateman traveled extensively between Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Nebraska and allegedly had sex with the minor girls on a regular basis.
Prosecutors have widened their case against the leader of a small polygamous group that resides near the Utah-Arizona border, adding child pornography charges and detailing his sexual encounters with children he took as wives in new charges filed earlier this month.
Sam Bateman is accused of making child pornography in a superseding indictment filed recently. The May 18 document also provides new details about how he took wives as young as 9 years old as he worked to win followers in at least four states to start his own small offshoot group of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The FLDS is itself a breakaway sect of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, widely known as the Mormon Church. Polygamy is a legacy of the early teachings of the mainstream church, but it abandoned the practice in 1890 and now strictly prohibits it.
MAN SHOOTING AIR RIFLE NEAR UTAH DAY CARE IS PERSON OF INTEREST IN TODDLER SHOOTING
The indictment adds to a raft of charges filed against Bateman last year. In December, prosecutors charged Bateman and several of his wives with kidnapping minors and impeding a foreseeable prosecution for helping young girls associated with the group flee Arizona foster care. An FBI affidavit published as part of the case claimed Bateman took more than 20 wives, including 10 girls under the age of 18.
The latest indictment expands on those allegations and says Bateman traveled extensively between Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Nebraska and allegedly had sex with the minor girls on a regular basis. It also charges Bateman with the production of child pornography.
Bateman was arrested last year and remains in federal custody pending his trial, which is scheduled for March 5, 2024. He previously has pleaded not guilty to state and federal charges accusing him of kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence.
A call to one of Bateman’s lawyers seeking comment about the case wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.