What crime lead this sentence? BEARD CUTTING! Authorities prosecuted the attacks as a hate crime.
The 10 men and six women were convicted last year in five attacks in Ohio Amish communities in 2011. The government said the attacks were retaliation against Amish who had defied or denounced Mullet’s authoritarian hold over the splinter group he started in 1995.
The case has opened a rare window to the lives of the insular Amish, who shun many facets of modern life and are deeply religious. Amish believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards once they marry. Cutting it would be shameful and offensive.
“The victims were terrorized and traumatized,” U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster said, noting that the same constitution that exempts them from jury service and permission to leave school at 14 was turned against the victims. “Each of you has received the benefits of that First Amendment.”
Federal prosecutor Bridget Brennan urged the judge to punish Mullet adequately.
“He is a danger to this community,” she said. “He is capable of controlling 15 defendants.”
Brennan repeated key testimony against Mullet and said he has remained the leader of his eastern Ohio community despite being locked up since his arrest in late 2011.