Remember the renegade group of Amish men in Ohio who broke into fellow Amish homes in the middle of the night and cut off people’s hair and beards? The men, members of the Bergholz Clan and followers of a guy who is actually named Sam Mullet, were arrested for the crimes back in October (five other men connected with the case were arrested last week). Now they’ve been charged with hate crimes.
Twelve members of the rogue group have been charged with hate crimes and also face conspiracy charges.
A rundown of what happened, according to the NYDN:
Prosecutors say Mullet and his followers forcibly cut women’s hair and men’s beards and hair using battery-powered clippers or scissors in five attacks between September and November. The Amish believe the Bible instructs them to grow their hair after marriage.
They also allegedly injured people who tried to protect or rescue the victims from the offensive attacks and then conspired to conceal evidence.
In addition to the widely reported assaults, prosecutors say that the men placed over-the-counter medication in one of the victim’s drinks meant to sicken him.
The attacks were a particularly deep violation because the Amish believe that after marriage, men and women should let their hair grow. The men charged with these hate crimes are accused of carrying out five attacks between September and November.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 21, 2011