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16 Sent to Prison for Hate Crimes Against Amish

After "forcibly remov[ing] beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes."

4:18 PM, Feb 8, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The Justice Department announced that 16 folks would be sent to prison for hate crimes against Amish folks. The defendants, who range in age from 23 to 67 and all lived in Ohio, were found guilty of "forcibly remov[ing] beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes."

"Sixteen people were sentenced to prison today for hate crimes arising out of a series of religiously-motivated assaults on practitioners of the Amish religion, announced Thomas E. Perez, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; Steven M. Dettelbach, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; and Stephen Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI – Cleveland Field Office," the Justice Department announced.

The Justice Department describes the crime:

A jury found the defendants guilty last September following a lengthy trial. The convictions stem from five separate assaults that occurred in four Ohio counties between September and November 2011. In each assault, defendants forcibly removed beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes.

The manner in which Amish men wear their beards and Amish women wear their hair are symbols of their faith, according to trial testimony. ...

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 assaults involved the use of hired drivers, either by the defendants or the alleged victims, because practitioners of the Amish religion do not operate motor vehicles. The assaults all entailed using scissors and battery-powered clippers to forcibly cut or shave the beard hair of the male victims and the head hair of the female victims, according to trial testimony.

During each assault, the defendants restrained and held down the victims. During some of the assaults, the defendants injured individuals who attempted to intervene to protect or rescue the victims. Following the attacks, some of the defendants participated in discussions about concealing photographs and other evidence of the assaults, according to evidence presented at trial.

 The list of guilty reads: "The defendants all reside in Bergholz, Ohio, unless otherwise noted. Samuel Mullet, 67, received a 15 year sentence. Johnny S. Mullet, 39; Lester Mullet, 28, of Hammondsville, Ohio; Levi F. Miller, 54; and Eli M. Miller, 33, received seven year sentences. Daniel S. Mullet, 38; Lester Miller, 38; and Emanuel Schrock, 44, received five year sentences. Raymond Miller, 28, of Irondale, Ohio; and Linda Shrock, 45, both received two year sentences. Freeman Burkholder, 32, of Irondale; Anna Miller, 33; Elizabeth A. Miller, 38, of Irondale; Emma J. Miller, 38; Kathryn Miller, 23, of Irondale; and Lovina Miller, 33, all received a sentence of one year and one day."

Some were found guilty of violating "Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 249, also known as the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act."

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