Prophet of Utah doomsday cult pleads guilty to child bigamy
SALT LAKE CITY – A self-styled prophet who helped lead a Utah doomsday cult that believed in polygamy pleaded responsible to sodomy and kid bigamy fees in a central Utah court Wednesday.
John Coltharp, 34, agreed to the plea deal in Manti, Utah, in alternate for prosecutors shedding kidnapping and obstruction of justice fees.
“I’m responsible. That could be a truth,” he mentioned, in keeping with KUTV-TV .
A sentencing listening to has been scheduled for Aug. eight. He faces as much as lifestyles in jail.
Coltharp and his buddy Samuel W. Shaffer, 34, shaped a bunch referred to as the Knights of the Crystal Blade according to arcane Mormon concepts lengthy deserted by means of the mainstream church.
Each and every guy believed himself to be married to 2 younger women ages four via eight, in keeping with prosecutors.
Prosecutors say each males held the identify of prophet at other issues.
Sheriff’s deputies investigating the gang in December came upon the 4 women in barrels and an deserted trailer on a makeshift compound of transport bins within the southern Utah barren region about 275 miles (440 kilometers) south of Salt Lake Town.
A mom of 2 of the ladies had reported them lacking together with two of her sons. The lads introduced the kids there months ahead of in preparation for an apocalypse or in hopes of gaining fans, government mentioned.
Shaffer pleaded responsible this 12 months and was once sentenced in Might to as much as lifestyles in jail.
A 3rd guy who joined the gang after assembly its founders on Fb, Robert Shane Roe, 34, was once charged with kid sexual abuse final week.
Two different fans are cooperating with investigators, however may face fees for obstruction of justice sooner or later.