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Polygamous Leader Had 'Wives' as Young as 9: FBI
Polygamous Leader Had
'Wives' as Young as 9: FBI
the rundown

Polygamous Leader Had 'Wives' as Young as 9: FBI

Samuel Bateman, 46, was arrested over the summer

(Newser) - The leader of a polygamous sect near the Arizona-Utah border had more than 20 "wives," including children, according to an FBI affidavit filed Friday in federal court. Samuel Rappylee Bateman, a 46-year-old self-described "prophet" and former leader of a branch of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ...

Utah Senate Votes 29-0 to Decriminalize Polygamy

Bill makes maximum penalty a $750 fine

(Newser) - Should polygamy be a felony, or a matter between man and wives? Lawmakers in Utah's Republican-controlled Senate leaned toward the latter on Tuesday and voted unanimously to decriminalize polygamy. Under current Utah law, a person who "purports to marry and cohabitates with" more than one spouse is guilty...

Warren Jeffs' Son, Who Said Dad Abused Him, Dead at 26

Roy Jeffs is said to have taken his own life

(Newser) - A son of Warren Jeffs who was one of the first to say the polygamist had sexually abused his own children has died. The Salt Lake City Tribune reports that Roy Jeffs, 26, was found dead at his Salt Lake City home on Friday. He would have turned 27 on...

Missing Girls Found in Raid on Cult Compound

Police say they were kidnapped by their father

(Newser) - Two Utah girls have been found safe nearly three months after they were allegedly kidnapped by their father, who family members feared had betrothed them to a polygamist sect leader. John Coltharp, said to be 33 or 34, was arrested in Sanpete County Friday on suspicion of kidnapping and obstruction...

Why All Eyes Are On Elections in a Remote Utah Town

Polygamist FLDS group seems to be losing long-held grasp on the town—including local politics

(Newser) - In a place where political contests are virtually unknown, campaign signs offer the latest hint that a polygamous group is losing its grip on a remote community on the Utah-Arizona border. "For Hildale mayor vote Donia," reads a sign featuring Donia Jessop, a candidate pictured with a contemporary...

Polygamy Still Illegal in Utah
Polygamy Still Illegal in Utah

Polygamy Still Illegal in Utah

US Supreme Court declines to hear arguments from 'Sister Wives' family

(Newser) - Polygamy is still illegal in Utah, as the US Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments against the lower court ruling that kept it so. Kody Brown and his four wives—the stars of TLC's Sister Wives—have for years been seeking to remove the penalties for polygamy in...

Polygamist Fugitive May Have Been 'Raptured': Attorney

Lyle Jeffs' attorney appears (we hope) to be joking with latest theory on disappearance

(Newser) - Lyle Jeffs' lawyer really wishes she could consult with him regarding a food stamp fraud trial involving 11 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Fox 13 reports. But the polygamist leader of the FLDS, who the New York Daily News notes had been under house...

Oops: Did Warren Jeffs Preach From Prison?

If so, the polygamist leader broke the rules

(Newser) - Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs may still be preaching to his sect—over the phone. "We have confirmed that Jeffs made two phone calls on Christmas Day to a relative," a Texas official tells the Los Angeles Times . "At this point, we're investigating whether he may have...

Polygamist Warren Jeffs Hospitalized

Convicted rapist not eating, drinking in Texas prison

(Newser) - Convicted rapist and polygamist leader Warren Jeffs was sent to a Texas hospital last night after refusing to eat or drink enough in prison, the AP reports. Facing a life behind bars without parole until he is at least 100 years old, 55-year-old Jeffs "hasn't been feeling well,...

FLDS Erecting Giant Statue of Jeffs

Colossal metal prophet to tower over FLDS compound

(Newser) - With their leader locked up until after his 100th birthday, his devoted followers in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints are turning to the next best thing: A 38-foot-tall statue of Warren Jeffs. Members of the polygamist sect are secretly assembling a colossal metal statue of Jeffs which will...

Jeffs Will Lead Church From Behind Bars

FLDS members probably aren't aware of case details

(Newser) - Warren Jeffs will spend the rest of his life in prison, but that's not likely to affect his ability to lead his Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, say former church members and expert. Followers of Jeffs' polygamist cult are likely to still revere him as...

Warren Jeffs Fathered Child With 15-Year-Old: Expert

DNA makes forensic expert '99.99%' certain polygamist is the father

(Newser) - Warren Jeffs sure could use a good defense attorney right about now. A DNA expert testified today that there's a 99.99% chance that the embattled polygamist leader fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl, reports the AP . Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of...

Facebook Wedding Pics Bring Down Polygamist

Wife was confused when her husband defriended her

(Newser) - Facebook is emerging as the bane of criminals ( see here ), and the latest feather in the social network's cap involves a not-so-stealthy case of possible polygamy. A Michigan man was charged with polygamy after his Rhode Island wife found Facebook photos of his wedding to another woman, Michigan...

Sister Wives Hubby 'Marries' Wife No. 4

Will this spell more legal drama for Kody Brown?

(Newser) - Despite the fact that he’s already being investigated for felony bigamy, polygamist Kody Brown of TLC’s Sister Wives has officially added a fourth wife to his family. Brown “married” Robyn Sullivan a few months ago, sources tell TMZ , and though there were no cameras at the actual...

Polygamist Leaves 100 Widows
 Polygamist Leaves 100 Widows 

Polygamist Leaves 100 Widows

Kenya's most prominent polygamist mourned by many, many, many

(Newser) - Kenya's most famous polygamist has died, leaving behind enough grieving widows and children to fill a jumbo jet. "Danger" Akuku, believed to have been in his late 90s, married his first wife in 1939 and well over 100 more in the six decades to follow. He fathered around 200...

Polygamy Reality Show Hits TLC
 Polygamy Reality Show Hits TLC
real-life 'big love'?

Polygamy Reality Show Hits TLC

13 kids (and 3 wives) and counting...

(Newser) - It was only a matter of time before TLC, home to the Duggars and their 19 kids and, of course, Jon and Kate and their eight , got itself a polygamist family. Sister Wives, premiering next month, follows Utah polygamist Kody, his three wives, their 13 children…and the fourth wife...

Don't Worry: Texas Will Get Warren Jeffs

State has a much stronger track record convicting polygamists

(Newser) - The Utah Supreme Court stunned prosecutors when it tossed out the only successful conviction against Warren Jeffs, the leader of the polygamist FLDS church. The ruling will make it extremely difficult to retry Jeffs in Utah, where the laws already make the prosecution of child-marriage cases difficult, Time reports. But...

Warren Jeffs Gets New Trial in Rape Case

Jury in polygamist leader's trial got bad instructions: court

(Newser) - Polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs, who has been serving 10 years to life for being an accessory to rape , was granted a new trial today, the Deseret News reports. The Utah Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the jury instructions delivered during Jeffs' 2007 trial were faulty. "We regret the...

Arizona Drops Case Against Polygamist Leader

Texas now seeking to extradite Warren Jeffs

(Newser) - Arizona has dismissed charges against Warren Jeffs, saying the polygamist sect leader has already spent more time in prison awaiting trial than he would have done if convicted. Jeffs had been charged as an accomplice to the rape of a minor for allegedly arranging marriages involving underage girls. The move...

Israel Charges Harem Leader With Rape, Enslavement

Goel Ratzon allegedly had 21 women, 49 children in cultlike atmosphere

(Newser) - A 60-year-old Israeli man who kept a harem of at least 21 women who bore him 49 children has been charged with enslavement, rape, incest, and other sexual offenses. Goel Ratzon was arrested last month but wasn't charged formally until today. Ratzon, who remains behind bars, denies wrongdoing. The 25-page...

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