The leader of a breakaway Amish group, three of his sons and three other men appeared in U.S. District Court here this afternoon, charged with with hate crimes in hair-cutting attacks against other Amish.
Magistrate Judge George Limbert ordered them detained by the U.S. Marshals Service pending hearings next week.
Sam Mullet; and his sons Johnny, Lester and Daniel; Levi Miller; Eli Miller; and Emanuel Schrock of Millersburg are charged in the beatings of those who disobeyed Sam Mullet.
Federal authorities said today that Sam Mullet made some members sleep in a chicken coop and had sexual relations with married women to “cleanse them.”
Authorities raided the group’s compound in eastern Ohio earlier today and arrested the seven suspects.
Several members of the group carried out the attacks in September, October and November by forcefully cutting the beards and hair of Amish men and women and then taking photos of them, authorities said.
Cutting the hair is a highly offensive act to the Amish, who believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry. One victim told the FBI he would rather have been “beaten black and blue than to suffer the disfigurement and humiliation of having his hair removed,” according to court papers.
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