Amish Beard Assault

January 13, 2012 by staff 

Amish Beard AssaultAmish Beard Assault, Ten men and two women, who pleaded innocent in beard and head hair-cutting assaults on Amish people at their arraignment in federal court here, are scheduled to go on trial March 19.

Seven of the suspects in the hate crimes will remain jailed without bond until the trial, over which U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster will preside, the U.S. Attorney said Wednesday.

Those detained suspects are Samuel Mullet Sr., 66; his sons, Johnny S., 38, and Daniel S., 37, all of Bergholz, and Lester S., 26, of Hammondsville; Levi F. and Eli M. Miller, ages 53 and 32, respectively, and Emanuel Shrock, 43, all of Bergholz.

Free on a $20,000 unsecured bond are Raymond and Lester Miller, both 37 and both of Irondale; Anna Miller and Linda Schrock, ages unknown, both of Bergholz; and Freeman Burkholder, 30, of Irondale.

Samuel Mullet is bishop of the Amish community in Bergholz, and the remaining defendants are members of that community, the U.S. Attorney said.

As a result of religious disputes with other members of the Ohio Amish community, the defendants planned and carried out a series of assaults on their perceived religious enemies, the indictment says.

The attacks occurred between September and November in Mesopotamia Township in northern Trumbull County and in Holmes, Carroll and Jefferson counties, the FBI said. An FBI afffidavit said Eli Miller confessed to his role in the Sept. 6 Mesopotamia attack.

The assaults entailed using scissors and battery-powered clippers to forcibly cut or shave the beards of the male victims and the head hair of the female victims, the indictment alleges. The beards of Amish men and head hair of Amish women are symbols of their faith.

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