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Man Pleads Not Guilty To Tampering And Child Abuse Charges In Connection With Transporting Girls In A Trailer In Flagstaff

A man, who was pulled over in Flagstaff in late August after a driver saw fingers coming out of the back of a trailer, pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges of tampering with evidence and three charges of child abuse. Police say State Troopers originally arrested a Samuel Bateman of Colorado City, Arizona and charged him with endangerment, after a group of young women were found in the trailer. Three girls between the ages of 11 and 14 were found inside. The trailer had a working toilet, a couch, camping chairs and no ventilation. It isn’t known if the girls are related to Bateman. The group were part of a religious group from Colorado City, but authorities say trafficking was not taking place. Bateman was charged with tampering after supporters in Colorado City told the prosecutor they talked with Bateman. He told them to delete communications sent through a private messaging system and demanded all women and girls get passports. Bateman did this while in the Coconino County Jail. A federal judge ordered Bateman remain in jail while the case is in the courts.

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