Last 2 Ohio Amish defendants appeal their convictions

CLEVELAND (AP) — The last two of 16 Amish found guilty in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio have appealed their convictions.

A son-in-law and nephew of ringleader Sam Mullet Sr. filed appeals today with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. Appeals by all 16 defendants are now before the court.

The defendants, all members of Mullet’s extended family, had challenged the constitutionality of the hate crimes act as overly broad. The trial judge in Cleveland rejected the claim.

They were convicted in five attacks in 2011 in apparent retaliation against Amish who had defied or denounced Mullet’s authoritarian style. One of those attacks took place in Mesopotamia in Trumbull County.

Mullet was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Family members who carried out the attacks got sentences ranging from one to seven years.

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