An Amish leader and fifteen others were sentenced to prison Friday after they attacked other Amish folk by cutting their beards and hair and filming the attacks, according to a Feb.8, 2013 press release from the US Attorney’s Office of Northern Ohio.
Samuel Mullet Sr., 67, is the accused ringleader of the operation that spread fear through the Amish community of Ohio after he organized a series of assaults which has led to him being convicted of hate crimes.
Samuel Mullet Sr. is the Bishop of the Amish community in Bergholz, utilizing his position to take the wives of community members into his home, as well as using corporal punishment to discipline members.
Mullet organized assaults against others Ohio Amish members and perceived religious enemies, often filming and taking photographs of the attacks, as they held down men and women of the community and shaved their beards and hair. The weapons of choice were scissors and battery-powered trimmers.
Interestingly, the case is being treated as a hate crime in violation of Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 249, also known as the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which prohibits any person from willfully causing bodily injury to any person, or attempting to do so by use of a dangerous weapon, because of the actual or perceived religion of that person.
During the testimony, it was explained that women’s hair and a man’s beard symbolize the individual’s faith.
Samuel Mullet Sr. and Lester Mullet were both charged with violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512, which prohibits obstruction of justice, including witness tampering and the destruction or concealment of evidence which occurred when they tried to conceal the camera and photographs from some of the attacks.
“From day one, this case has been about the rule of law and defending the right of people to worship in peace. This was never about ‘haircuts.’ These were violent, religiously motivated home invasions that left the victims bloody, bruised and beaten,” said U.S. Attorney Dettlebach. “Our nation was founded on the bedrock principle that everyone is free to worship how they see fit. Violent attempts to attack this most basic freedom have no place in our country.”
The names of individuals sentenced are as follows:
Samuel Mullet, 67, received a 15 year sentence. Johnny S. Mullet, 39; Lester Mullet, 28, of Hammondsville, Ohio; Levi F. Miller, 54; and Eli M. Miller, 33, received seven year sentences. Daniel S. Mullet, 38; Lester Miller, 38; and Emanuel Schrock, 44, received five year sentences. Raymond Miller, 28, of Irondale, Ohio; and Linda Shrock, 45, both received two year sentences. Freeman Burkholder, 32, of Irondale; Anna Miller, 33; Elizabeth A. Miller, 38, of Irondale; Emma J. Miller, 38; Kathryn Miller, 23, of Irondale; and Lovina Miller, 33, all received a sentence of one year and one day.
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