Cult leader Samuel Shaffer gets 26 years to life in prison
(KUTV) — Samuel Shaffer was sentenced to prison on Tuesday morning for two felony-degree charges involving sexual abuse of a minor.
Shaffer was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on the first count and 1 to 15 years for the second count. He will spend a minimum of 26 years in prison.
The 34-year-old man was charged with first-degree felony rape of a child and one second-degree felony count of child abuse. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on the first count and 1 to 15 years for the second count.
The judge stated that Shaffer will have the opportunity to receive mental health treatment and programming in order to maximize rehabilitation efforts.
He pleaded guilty to rape and child abuse in February.
Shaffer was the prophet of a cult group called The Knights of the Crystal Blade. He and another cult member, named John Alvin Coltharp, 34, were married to each other's daughters, who are minors. Shaffer was charged with sodomy of a child.
On December 4, 2017, an Amber Alert was issued for Coltharp's daughters. Police began an investigation after Coltharp's ex-wife told authorities that he had taken their four children and fled after losing custody in divorce proceedings.
Two girls were found in a single-wide trailer; the other two were found in empty 50-gallon water drums.
Shaffer was arrested in December 2017 on kidnapping charges. Coltharp was arrested on suspicion of custodial interference.
2News will continue to update this story as new information becomes available.