US: ’20 wives, including 10 minors’- Polygamous sect leader faces legal cases in Arizona
A shocking case has emerged in the state of Arizona, United States (US) of a polygamous sect leader and some of his followers allegedly conspiring to travel across state lines and get “husbands”. was accused of creating An additional indictment was issued Wednesday by a federal grand jury against Samuel Rapelli Bateman, 47, of Colorado City, Arizona, and 10 of his followers, officials said Thursday.
Authorities have accused Batman of taking more than 20 wives, including 10 girls under the age of 18.
Allegedly accused of making child pornography
They said Bateman traveled extensively between Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Nebraska and allegedly had sex with underage girls on a regular basis. The superseding indictment also charges Bateman with producing child pornography.
It alleges that in late November 2020, Bateman coordinated mass sexual activity in a Colorado Springs hotel room with some of his followers, including underage girls.
Bateman was arrested last year and remains in federal custody pending his trial, which is scheduled for March 5, 2024.
Bateman was previously charged with kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence, and has pleaded not guilty. A call to one of Bateman’s attorneys seeking comment about the case was not immediately returned Thursday.
Bateman and three of his 10 followers are scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Phoenix federal court. Five others were scheduled to make their initial court appearances Thursday in St. George, Utah, while one woman is being held pending trial in Phoenix and another is awaiting a May 30 detention hearing in Flagstaff, Arizona, officials said. .
(with AP inputs)
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