FBI: Polygamous leader had 20 wives, many of them minors

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say the leader of a small polygamous group near the Arizona-Utah border had taken at least 20 wives and punished followers who didn’t treat him as a prophet.

The details of Samuel Bateman’s life were alleged in an FBI affidavit released last Friday.

It was filed in a case that charges three of his female followers with kidnapping children from state custody in Arizona and impeding a foreseeable prosecution.

Two of the women are scheduled to appear in federal court in Flagstaff on Wednesday.

Bateman is facing state and federal charges of child abuse and tampering with evidence.


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