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12 Amish Charged with Hate Crimes for Amish Beard-Cuttings

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Religion can unite folks. It can also divide them. It can also make them do some crazy things. Just ask the Amish.

A federal grand jury in Cleveland on Wednesday issued a seven-count indictment charging 10 men and 2 women who are part of an Amish breakaway group with federal crimes stemming from five assaults occurring in Ohio’s Amish country between September through November of this year, according to a Justice Department statement.

In each of the incidences defendants forcibly cut the hair from the beards and heads of victims in a different religious sect with which they had had a dispute. Hair is highly symbolic in Amish religion.

“For nearly 500 years, people have come to this land so that they could pray however and to whomever they wished,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach in a statement. “Violent attempts to attack this most basic freedom have no place in our country.”

Charged with conspiracy to violate the Mathew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act–which prohibits the willful attempt to cause bodily harm to an individual based on their religion–was Samuel Mullet Sr., Johnny S. Mullet, Daniel S. Mullet, Levi F. Miller, Eli M. Miller, Emanuel Shrock, Lester Miller, Raymond Miller, Freeman Burkholder, Anna Miller and Linda Shrock. Some of the above we also charged in relation to hiding or obfuscating evidence from federal investigators.

The hate crime charges carry a maximum life sentence.

 


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