Oct. 19, 201: From left, Johnny Mullet, Lester Mullet, Daniel Mullet, Levi Miller and Eli Miller wait to make their pleas in Holmes County Municipal Court in Millersburg, Ohio, in the case involving beard- and hair-cutting attacks against Amish men and women in Ohio. Sam Mullet Sr. and 15 other Amish men and women are to go on trial Monday in Cleveland on charges of carrying out hate crimes in the hair-cutting attacks. Other charges include conspiracy, evidence tampering and obstruction of justice in what prosecutors say crimes motivated by religious differences. They could face lengthy prison terms if convicted. (AP)
CLEVELAND – Sixteen people charged with hate crimes in hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish are going on trial this week in Ohio.
Jury selection began Monday morning in Cleveland. Among those who are charged are the leader of a breakaway Amish group and four of his children who all live in eastern Ohio.
Prosecutors say some of the suspects forcibly cut the beards and hair of Amish men and the hair of women last fall. Authorities say the attacks were motivated by religious differences.
Some of the defendants face prison terms of 20 years or more if convicted. They have turned down plea bargains that would have carried much shorter sentences.
The group's leader contends that they should be allowed to handle what they see as internal church disciplinary matters.