November 27, 2014

Elyria
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Ohio Amish beard-cutting ringleader gets 15 years

CLEVELAND (AP) — The ringleader in hair- and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Sixty-seven-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr. was sentenced Friday in Cleveland federal court. Judge Dan Aaron Polster also was to sentence 15 of Mullet’s extended family members.

The 10 men and six women were convicted last year in five attacks in Amish communities in 2011.

Prosecutors say the attacks were retaliation against Amish who had defied or denounced Mullet’s authoritarian style. They sought a life term.

Mullet’s lawyer calls it an internal matter that didn’t rise to a hate crime. The attorney had asked for a sentence of two years or less.

Amish believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards once they marry. Cutting it would be offensive to Amish.