EXCLUSIVE: Bodycam footage shows moment polygamist cult leader Samuel Rappylee Bateman was arrested after he was caught towing three underage girls in a squalid trailer with makeshift seats and a porta potty behind his GMC Denali pickup
- Police bodycam footage exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com shows the moment Samuel Rappylee Bateman was arrested in Flagstaff, Arizona in August
- The cult leader, 46, was pulled over after witnesses reported seeing children’s fingers’ poking through the sides of a trailer being towed by his pickup truck
- Police can be seen ordering four of his wives out of the truck who deny there are more passengers, only for police to open the trailer and find three young girls
- Two of the women have been identified as Naomi Bistline and Moretta Johnson, 19 – both of whom are now also facing charges
- In the clip, a visibly angry Naomi is heard telling cops ‘you have to let him go’ and telling deputies that the girls are ‘scared of cops’
Handcuffed and looking glum with his belly hanging over his pants, this is the moment pervert cult leader Samuel Rappylee Bateman was arrested in Flagstaff, Arizona, after being caught towing three of his underage ‘wives’ in a box trailer.
Footage of the arrest, obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com, was captured by deputies from the Coconino County Sheriff’s Department during a late August traffic stop.
Passers-by had called cops after seeing ‘children’s fingers’ poking through the sides of the trailer which was being towed by a black GMC Denali pick-up.
When police opened it, they found three girls aged between 11 and 14 hiding inside the vehicle which had been kitted out with makeshift seats and a porta-potty.
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Bodycam footage exclusively obtained by DailyMail.com shows the moment Samuel Rappylee Bateman was arrested in Flagstaff, Arizona during a traffic stop in late August
The 46-year-old cult leader was pulled over after bystanders reported seeing ‘children’s fingers’ poking through the sides of the trailer Bateman had been towing with his black pickup truck
Bateman is seen cuffed and taken to one side but staring at the women as they are walked past him
Bateman, 46, is a former member of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and was once a devoted follower of leader Warren Jeffs, 67, who is currently serving a life sentence in Texas after being convicted of sexually abusing two underage girls.
But Jeffs kicked Bateman out of the FLDS in 2019 via an order sent from prison after he declared himself a prophet and told his now ex-wife of his plan to marry their teenage daughter.
Nonetheless, Bateman was able to amass a following of 50 people who call themselves ‘Samuelites’ – and acquire a harem of 23 wives, with the youngest being just nine years old when he wed her.
Bateman has been in federal custody on obstruction charges since his September arrest, which unfolded after he was caught transporting underage girls inside a squalid trailer furnished with a couch and a bucket for a toilet
All of the followers, including the wives, are current members of the FLDS.
Some of the wives also appear in the bodycam footage, among them Naomi Bistline and Moretta Johnson, 19 – both of whom are now also facing charges.
In the clip, a visibly angry Naomi is heard telling cops ‘you have to let him go’ and ‘this makes me mad’ before being told off for answering questions on behalf of the younger girls.
She then tells deputies the girls are ‘scared of cops’. Moretta then adds: ‘It’s because of what happened in 2008 and that’s why they’re scared of you.’
The reference is to the 2008 raid at Jeffs’s Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas, that saw over 400 children taken away and placed in the care of Child Protective Services.
The raid took place after a caller tipped police off about sexual abuse of minors happening at the property, with cops discovering evidence of marriages between underage girls and older men.
After being kicked out of the Fundamentalist Church of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS) in 2019 Bateman was able to amass a following of 50 people who call themselves ‘Samuelites’ – and acquire a harem of 23 wives
Some of Bateman’s wives also appear in the bodycam footage and can be heard arguing with law enforcement as they’re questioned about the young girls
Naomi Bistline (in red) and Moretta Johnson, 19, were present during the traffic stop and are now also facing charges
In the clip, a visibly angry Naomi is heard telling cops that the girls are ‘scared of cops’
Although the caller, who claimed to be a 16-year-old FLDS girl, was later found to be a hoax, enough was found to convict Jeffs – including chilling audio of him raping a very young girl.
The Flagstaff footage begins with police ordering four of the women out of the black GMC Denali truck and asking them if anyone is riding in the trailer.
They shake their heads, only for police to open the trailer and spot three young girls – one 11 – hiding inside.
Bateman is seen cuffed and taken to one side but staring at the women as they are walked past him.
A series of arguments between Naomi and deputies then unfold, as she questions whether it is illegal to tow people in a trailer – only to be told that because the girls are juveniles, it is.
She is also told to stop filming police on her phone and, along with some of the other wives, told to place it on top of a police cruiser.
The footage also includes an interview with one of Bateman’s younger wives – a girl of just 14.
In the clip, she is heard admitting that she doesn’t know where she’s going and describes Bateman as a ‘friend’.
Of the trip, she adds: ‘Well the thing is, I got invited to come. They just told me we’re going on a trip. It’ll be a couple of hours only.’
An evidence photo shows the trailer Bateman allegedly used to transport underage girls
The squalid trailer was furnished with a couch, camper chairs, and a toilet made from a bucket
When police opened the trailer, they found three girls aged between 11 and 14 hiding inside the vehicle which had been kitted out with makeshift seats and a porta-potty
FBI agents raid the home of Samuel Rappylee Bateman in Colorado City, Arizona on September 13
Bateman was later transported to the Coconino County Detention Facility where he was booked on three counts of child endangerment.
He is now locked up in Florence, Arizona, on an FBI hold after he made a series of calls to his wives from the Coconino County Detention Facility demanding that they delete the contents of a potentially incriminating chat on encrypted messaging app Signal.
As a result, the FBI raided his Colorado City, Arizona, home in early September and re-arrested him on federal evidence tampering charges.
During the raid, agents removed nine underage girls from the premises and took them to group homes in Phoenix.
Moretta and Naomi, as well as another of Bateman’s wives named Donnae Barlow, are facing federal kidnapping charges after helping eight of the nine escape from the homes.
An FBI affidavit, filed in Spokane, Washington, on December 2 details how Moretta was caught with the girls at an Airbnb in the city – paid for by one of Bateman’s most devoted acolytes Torrance Bistline, 34.
Bistline is a successful businessman who runs a company named VelociWrapper out of Hilldale, Utah – which with Colorado City is collectively known as Short Creek and was, until Jeffs moved to the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas, the headquarters of the FLDS.
He is also the cousin of Naomi and the brother of another of Bateman’s followers LaDell Bistline Jr, 47.
Both men are named in the indictment against Naomi, Moretta, and Donnae, along with Moretta’s father Moroni Johnson, 51.
All three are described as funding Bateman’s lifestyle and, between them, are the fathers, former husbands, brothers and sons of the women in his harem.
Naomi Bistline was seen arriving at the federal courthouse in Flagstaff on Wednesday, December 7
Donnae Barlow, one of Samuel Rappylee Bateman’s many wives, was pictured with her wrists and ankles shackled as she wore a blue jumpsuit over her long dress to face federal kidnapping charges on Wednesday
The documents also detail how all three men were ordered to take part in various rites, including Moroni being forced to have sex with his wife in front of their daughters in order to show them how to ‘please’ the self-styled prophet.
Bateman is apparently so extreme that he has been denounced even by former FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (above), a convicted child rapist
Torrance, meanwhile, had anal sex with a 13-year-old girl while LaDell was given a 16-year-old for ‘sexual comfort’ after Bateman took his wife of 20 years and their two young daughters for himself.
The affidavit also describes how Bateman made a depraved attempt to marry his own teenage daughter, now 17, from his marriage to Lydia Burnham, 43, in February 2019.
Bateman had attempted to bribe the girl into compliance with $50, two bags of Doritos and the promise of an airplane ride.
As a result, a disgusted Lydia moved out and took their five children – telling Bateman their daughter ‘is not and will never be your wife’.
Divorce documents obtained by DailyMail.com show Lydia was awarded full custody of their children, with Bateman banned from having any contact with their daughter and only allowed contact with their minor sons twice a month under supervision.
Separate documents lodged in St. George, Utah, show Bateman is being pursued for child support of $950-a-month and has so far failed to pay up.
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