In September of 2022, Sam Bateman, a self-declared prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), was arrested for transporting minors in interstate commerce to engage in criminal sexual activity and traveling in interstate commerce to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors. With an investigation ongoing about his marriage to twenty women, including nine minors, more charges are to follow.
While in police custody and awaiting an upcoming trial, Bateman used the jailhouse phone system to “engage in sexual discussions with children,” federal prosecutors say. In these conversations with both a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old, he would reminisce about their past sexual encounters, make profane sexual remarks about their breasts and talk about his desire to sexually abuse them further. “Don’t you remember all those sacred times we spent together,” Bateman reportedly asked.
According to Law And Crime, the conversations violated a Superior Court’s order that prohibited Bateman from all contact with his underaged victims. Government documents noted the violation, stating that the sexual predator “repeatedly misused detention facility communications systems in violation of policy.”
After his trial was adjourned multiple times and was pushed back another year, Bateman is now scheduled to reappear in court March 5, 2024. The Arizona’s Department of Child Services has yet to comment on how the 13-year-old was able to contact Bateman while within their custody, and have not mentioned whether steps have been taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.