Phoenix

Polygamy leader pleads not guilty

Samuel Bateman entered his not-guilty plea throughout a listening to in a federal courtroom in Phoenix, court docket paperwork present

PHOENIX — A polygamous leader accused of taking greater than 20 wives, together with underage women, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to kidnapping and tampering with proof fees stemming from a federal investigation into his neighborhood on the Utah-Arizona border.

Sam Bateman’s case is the newest instance of regulation enforcement taking motion in opposition to abuse within the sister cities of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, longtime strongholds of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, recognized by its acronym FLDS. They are a polygamous offshoot of the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which not practices polygamy.

Bateman entered his not-guilty plea throughout a listening to in a federal courtroom in Phoenix, court docket paperwork present. A trial has been set for Jan. 10, however his attorneys have requested extra time to organize.

The neighborhood was as soon as dominated by the polygamous group however has remodeled since its leader, Warren Jeffs, was sentenced to life in jail greater than a decade in the past on little one intercourse abuse fees associated to underage marriages.

Bateman, 46, is a former follower of Jeffs who broke off from the FLDS church with just a few dozen followers of his personal after fashioning himself as a prophet and successor to Jeffs. From jail, Jeffs has denounced Bateman, stated Sam Brower, an investigator who has spent years following the group,

Bateman faces a raft of state and federal fees together with little one abuse, obstructing a federal investigation and — together with a number of feminine followers — aiding in kidnapping women the state foster care they had been positioned in after his arrest earlier this year.

Though federal fees up to now have been restricted to tampering with and destroying proof, and aiding in kidnapping women, court docket paperwork in Bateman and his followers’ circumstances define a radical investigation uncovering allegations that Bateman orchestrated sexual acts involving minors and gave wives as items to his male followers — claiming to take action on orders from the “Heavenly Father.”

They stated that he used public shaming and intercourse to punish followers — and at one level tried to take a spouse his solely daughter, who later left along with her mom when Bateman began taking extra wives.

Polygamy is a legacy of the early teachings of the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, however the religion recognized broadly because the Mormon church deserted the apply in 1890 and now strictly prohibits it.

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