An Amish leader got 15 years in prison for a string of beard attacks in rural Ohio. According to a report from Friday (Feb. 8), the incidents took place between September and November 2011, with Samuel Mullet Sr. and 15 of his followers committing federal hate crimes.
Mullet was accused of leading a group that forcibly cut the beards and hair of other community members. Five attacks were reported, most of which included breaking into the homes of fellow Amish people and restraining them while their beards were cut off.
The targets in these crimes were former members of Mullet's group who had left due to religious disagreements. As a result, Mullet received the most tangible sentence in this case, but he isn't the only one going to prison.
According to the report, four of his followers were sentence to seven years in prison, three received five-year sentences, two were given two years, and six others were sentenced to a year and a day. The punishments might seem pretty substantial, but in the Amish faith, a beard is seen as a significant symbol of faith and manhood.
Typically disputes within the Amish community are also resolved within, but this case became so escalated that some of the victims were forced to turn to local law authorities. Now this breakaway Amish leader has been given 15 years in prison to reflect on his crimes.