CEDAR CITY—A self-styled prophet who was arrested last winter after police raided his desert compound west of Cedar City has been sentenced in Fifth District Court.
Samuel Shaffer, who also faces child bigamy, child kidnapping and other charges in Sanpete County, was sentenced to up to life in prison after he pled guilty to child rape and abuse charges. He was part of a group calling themselves the Knights of the Crystal Blade. Shaffer believed he was married to two young girls, ages 4 through 8. His fellow self-styled prophet, John Coltharp, is also facing child bigamy and other charges.
The girls were found hidden in 50-gallon plastic water barrels and an abandoned trailer near the compound in December. Shaffer said in court on Tuesday that they were put there to protect them from winter weather. Judge Matthew Bell called the conduct “highly disturbing.”
Other charges against Shaffer, including child kidnapping, were dropped by Iron County prosecutors so one of the girls did not have to testify.