CLEVELAND – Sentences have been reduced for the leader of a breakaway Amish group and seven of his imprisoned followers who chopped off the hair and beards of Amish people with whom they disagreed.
Prosecutors say the victims were awakened in the middle of the night in 2011, restrained and forcibly disfigured in a way intended to destroy an important symbol of their beliefs.
Sixteen men and women, including group leader Samuel Mullet Sr., were resentenced Monday for convictions on their remaining charges after an appeals court last year dismissed hate crimes convictions.
Mullet's 15-year sentence was reduced to 10 years, nine months. Sentences for four men who received seven years were cut to five years. Sentences for three men who got five years were lowered to three years, seven months.
The other eight, including six women, have served their sentences. Mullet is bishop of an Amish community in eastern Ohio.
Prosecutors argued that the original sentences should have remained intact because of the religious nature of the defendants' crimes.