Skip to content

Cult ‘Prophet’ Complained of His Child Bride’s Bedwetting, FBI Says


  • A member of the FLDS reported to the FBI that Samuel Bateman in 2020 married a girl born in 2010.
  • Bateman then complained that she was wetting the bed, according to the FBI.
  • Bateman is accused of taking 20 wives, most of them under 15, and preying on his own daughter.

An up-and-coming “prophet” in the polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints demanded that a follower turn over his youngest daughter to be his wife and then complained to his other young wives that the girl — no older than 10 — was wetting the bed, according to a recently filed FBI affidavit in a related kidnapping case.

In 2019, Samuel Bateman, who for years tried to advance his position within the sect, declared himself “prophet” of the FLDS. The radical group has long been led by the infamous cult leader Warren Jeffs, who now reigns over many FLDS followers from prison.

Bateman has garnered a small following of around 50 FLDS members, splintering the sect, according to the FBI, and has taken 20 wives, most of them girls under 15 years old, federal investigators noted in court documents.

In May 2020, Bateman went to his follower, Moroni Johnson, and took his daughter — born in 2010 — as his wife, according to the FBI.

A law enforcement informant close to the child brides told the FBI that Bateman was “disgusted” over the youngest girl’s bedwetting. 

While Moroni “expressed great anguish and was under extreme stress over having to give his youngest daughter to Bateman,” the FBI affidavit said, he remained a faithful follower. Bateman has since taken all of Moroni’s daughters and at least one of his wives as his own. 

Bateman’s underage wives — several of them Moroni’s own daughters — were made to watch in November 2020 as he had sex with Moroni in a Nebraska hotel room, according to the court document.

The women and girls were told it was the “binding of brothers” and were forced to have sex with other men in the cult, the FBI said. 

In August, Bateman was arrested in Arizona on charges of child endangerment after three underage girls were found in his cargo trailer. Nine underage girls were then taken from homes he used and put in Arizona group homes for children, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Last Thursday, a 24-year-old woman, Moretta Johnson, was arrested on federal kidnapping charges and eight of those girls — who had run away from the group homes — were found in a Spokane, Washington, AirBnB, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. 

The FBI alleges that Moretta Johnson and two more of Bateman’s followers conspired with him to transport minor girls for illegal sex between Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Nebraska.