A third man from Castro, California has been charged with child sexual abuse in connection with the polygamy-believing Utah doomsday group that took child brides.
Prosecutor Kevin Daniels said that 34-year-old Robert Shane Roe only met the two founders of the group in a Facebook discussion thread last year but got convinced enough to travel all the way to Utah where he was given a 5-year-old “bride” related to one of the men.
Investigators already knew before that Roe was involved in the doomsday group, but Daniels said the girl only revealed recently what exactly happened when she was alone with Roe.
Daniels, the Sanpete County Attorney in central Utah, said that Roe admitted being alone with the girl but denied abusing her.
Roe was charged on Thursday with sodomy of a child for the alleged activity that took place in August 2017.
The girl is already the third victim victimized by the polygamy-believing men in the doomsday group.
34-year-olds Samuel W. Shaffer and John Coltharp formed a group they called the Knights of the Crystal Blade based on arcane Mormon ideas which have been long abandoned by the mainstream church. The two men also only met in a Facebook discussion group relating to the 1890 decision to abandon polygamy by the mainstream Mormon church, The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints.
Both men secretly married two little girls ages 4 through 8. Court documents also revealed that each man married a relative of the other.
Shaffer was sentenced last month to up to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to child rape and abuse charges.
Coltharp, on the other hand, pleaded not guilty to sodomy and child bigamy charges. He’s set to be back in court on Wednesday in Manti, Utah.
The two were first investigated after the mother of the two girls reported them missing, along with two of her sons. Sheriff’s deputies then responded to a makeshift compound made out of shipping containers in the southern Utah desert about 275 miles south of Salt Lake City. Police utilized helicopters and even dogs in December to descend on the men and find the missing children.
The boys were found in the makeshift compound, while it took the police another day to discover the girls in the barrels and trailer. It turned out the children were taken by the men months before in preparation for an apocalypse in their hopes to gain more followers.
Shaffer even reasoned out during his sentencing that he placed the girls in the containers to “protect” them from the winter weather.