FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – Authorities say the leader of a small polygamous group near the Arizona-Utah border had taken at least 20 wives and punished followers who didn’t treat him as a prophet.

An FBI affidavit released last Friday alleges that Samuel Bateman orchestrated sexual acts with followers and traded wives.

It was filed in a case that charges three of his female followers with kidnapping children from state custody in Arizona and impeding a foreseeable prosecution.

Two of the women appeared in federal court in Flagstaff on Wednesday and were ordered held. Bateman is facing state and federal charges of child abuse and tampering with evidence.