Prosecutors in Utah argued this week that the two men accused of leading a cult in that state considered themselves to be married to each other’s young daughters.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a total of four girls were rescued from the Mormon polygamist sect’s compound last month.
After an Amber alert was issued for two of the girls, they were all reportedly found inside large storage containers set up in a remote area of Iron County as shelters for the survivalist group known as Knights of the Crystal Blade.
During the kidnapping trial of Samuel Shaffer and John Coltharp, additional revelations about those alleged victims has surfaced. Along with the new information came a new charge — sodomy of a child — against Coltharp, according to KTVX.
According to Sanpete County Deputy Attorney Kevin Daniels, the two defendants promised their own 8-year-old daughters to each other for an illegal “marriage.” The ceremonies took place last summer, Fox News reported.
“Sam married and took as a wife John’s 8-year old daughter,” Daniels said. “John took as a wife, Sam’s 8-year old daughter. ”
The shocking revelations continued with prosecutors citing evidence gathered when authorities served a search warrant at the location of the cult.
After marrying each other’s daughters, Daniels said, Shaffer and Coltharp “allegedly married their own 4-year-old daughters.”
He also provided some insight into the apparent power struggle between the two men within the so-called religion.
“In the past, Sam was the prophet and there was some supposed revelation that essentially flip flopped their role within the religion,” he said.
While the alleged marriage ceremonies have made headlines, they will play little role in making the case against the defendants. Davis said prosecutors will focus instead on “the behavior associated with the marriage.”
[Featured image: Samuel Shaffer, John Colthorp/Handouts]