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Eight of Bentley-driving Mormon prophet's 20 wives were rescued by the FBI earlier this month from Airbnb in Washington state after

Bateman is apparently so extreme that he has been denounced even by former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (above), a convicted child rapist

Bateman is apparently so extreme that he has been denounced even by former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (above), a convicted child rapist

Eight young girls who were forced to marry a Mormon prophet were found together at an Airbnb in Washington after escaping protective custody in Arizona.
Federal agents say the eight girls who ran away from group homes in Arizona late last month were found hiding out at the Airbnb in Spokane with one of their older sister-wives, Moretta Rose Johnson, 19, who is now facing federal kidnapping charges.
The girls, as young as 9-years-old, had been taken into protective custody by the Arizona Department of Child Services back in September after a whistleblower revealed how Bentley-driving Samuel Rappylee Bateman, 46, married up to 20 women and young girls, including his own daughter.
Authorities say he sex trafficked these 'young girls' between Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Nebraska.
He has been in federal custody on obstruction charges since his September arrest, which unfolded after Bateman was pulled over by cops while transporting underage girls inside a squalid trailer furnished with a couch and a bucket for a toilet. 
None of the young girls have since admitted to federal investigators that they were sexually abused by Bateman, the head of a Mormon offshoot called the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS.
But investigators found that in their journals, the girls would describe 'sleeping with Bateman, kissing him and touching him.' They now believe that the young girls were coached by some of the older wives not to speak with investigators.
Still, the girls are said to have remained in contact with their older sister-wives, who worked with Bateman to help them escape and 'bring them home.'

Federal authorities say Samuel Rappylee Bateman, 46, sex trafficked 'young girls' between Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Nebraska as he married up to 20 women and underage girls

Federal authorities say Samuel Rappylee Bateman, 46, sex trafficked 'young girls' between Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Nebraska as he married up to 20 women and underage girls

Nine underage girls were taken into protective custody in September after they were found inside a squalid trailer furnished with a couch and a bucket for a toilet. Eight of the nine young girls later escaped protective custody and were found together in an Airbnb in Spokane, Washington

Nine underage girls were taken into protective custody in September after they were found inside a squalid trailer furnished with a couch and a bucket for a toilet. Eight of the nine young girls later escaped protective custody and were found together in an Airbnb in Spokane, Washington 

According to court documents obtained by KXLY, eight of the nine girls who had been rescued from Bateman's Colorado City home by the Arizona Department of Child Services in September ran away from their group homes on November 27.

Soon after, federal investigators discovered they were still in a group chat with some of the adult wives, and a criminal complaint says they left behind journals 'indicating "Today is the day we go home."

Federal officials now say Bateman made a call from jail to two of his adult wives who were driving together.

In the recorded phone conversation, the women could be heard saying they have two of the girls, according to the criminal complaint.

The next morning, it says, he called the women again and discovered all eight of the runaway wives were in a hotel room with the women.

And in a series of phone calls recorded by federal agents, Bateman talks to the wives, who say they are on the move and traveling in separate groups so as not to get caught.

Eventually, court documents say, the FBI was able to track down a business card for VelociWrapper, a business run by one of Bateman's followers, and requested an emergency disclosure from Airbnb to find any addresses reserved by that follower or under any of his business accounts.

They found one such property listed in Spokane, Washington, and asked the Spokane County Sheriff's Department to knock on the door.

No one answered when they arrived at the house on Thursday, court documents say, but a sergeant spotted a vehicle leaving the scene. 

Inside, they found Johnson and all of the eight missing girls.

Johnson has now been booked into Spokane County Jail on an FBI hold and will be transferred back to Arizona to face charges.

It remains unclear what happened to the eight girls following her arrest. 

Three girls in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are seen embracing before they were removed from Bateman's home in September

Three girls in the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are seen embracing before they were removed from Bateman's home in September

The underage girls were said to have kept in contact with their older sister-wives who colluded with Bateman to help them escape

The underage girls were said to have kept in contact with their older sister-wives who colluded with Bateman to help them escape

They were found in an Airbnb in Spokane, Washington rented out to the owner of VelociWrapper, a follower of Bateman's

Bateman has gained a following since taking over the FLDS as its prophet from Warren Jeffs, a convicted child rapist.

While in power, an affidavit says, Bateman gained  'approximately 50 followers and more than 20 wives, many of whom are minors, mostly under the age of 15.'

Evidence cited in the affidavit includes recordings of Bateman himself, speaking to a couple in Colorado City, Arizona, who do outreach to the polygamy community there and are filming a documentary. 

In one example cited in the document, Bateman told the couple that the 'Heavenly Father' had instructed him in early November 2021 to 'give the most precious thing he has, his girls' virtue,' to three of his adult male followers.

Bateman then allegedly watched as the three men had sex with his daughters, one of whom was just 12, according to the affidavit.

Bateman also allegedly commented that the girls had 'sacrificed their virtue for the Lord,' and went on to say: '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.'

The affidavit further alleges that in late 2020, Bateman drove to the Colorado City couple's home 'in a large SUV packed with women and girls,' where he 'introduced everyone as his wives.' 

The youngest of the so-called 'wives' was a girl born in 2011, Special Agent Martin wrote, meaning the girl would have been nine at the oldest. 

The affidavit also notes that Bateman owned two Bentleys, though it seems his 'wives' traveled in less style.  

An evidence photo shows the trailer Bateman allegedly used to transport underage girls

An evidence photo shows the trailer Bateman allegedly used to transport underage girls

FBI agents are pictured raiding the home of Samuel Rappylee Bateman in Colorado City, Arizona on September 13

FBI agents are pictured raiding the home of Samuel Rappylee Bateman in Colorado City, Arizona on September 13

His initial encounter with the law came in August, when he was pulled over by a state trooper in northern Arizona towing a box trailer 'full of people including children,' according to AZFamily.com

The trooper saw 'children's small fingers moving in the gap of the rear trailer door' as he pulled up behind the trailer, according to a police statement. 

Police said there were three girls in the trailer, all between the ages of 11 and 14 years old, along with a couch, camper chairs, and a toilet made from a bucket. 

With Bateman in the SUV towing the trailer were two women and two girls under the age of 15.

The Mormon prophet was then arrested and charged locally with three counts of child abuse.

While he was being held in the Coconino County Jail in Flagstaff, authorities say, he talked to his supporters in Colorado City and instructed them to delete communications sent through the encrypted messaging app Signal, and demanded all women and girls obtain passports.

Bateman was able to post bond on the state charges, but weeks later he was hit with a federal indictment charging him with three counts of destroying or attempting to destroy records and tampering with criminal proceedings.

He pleaded not guilty in U.S. Magistrate Court in Flagstaff.

Federal prosecutor Patrick Schneider said in September that the state child welfare agency had removed children from Bateman's home in Colorado City, where the FBI had recently served a search warrant. 

Bateman has not been charged with sex crimes against children, though the new FBI affidavit said the FBI has probable cause to believe he and others transported minors between Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Nebraska to engage in illicit sexual conduct between May 2020 and November 2021.

Bateman is apparently so extreme that he has been denounced even by former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (above), a convicted child rapist

Bateman is apparently so extreme that he has been denounced even by former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (above), a convicted child rapist

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