Amish Beard-Cutting Case

Fed. Prosecutors want life sentence for Amish bishop convicted of organizing beard-cutting attacks

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge for the maximum sentence of life in prison for Amish bishop Samuel Mullet following his conviction on federal hate-crime charges for coordinating a series of beard and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish men and women who did not adhere to his teachings.

“Plainly stated, Samuel Mullet Sr. should be sentenced to a life term of imprisonment because, but for Samuel Mullet Sr., it is highly unlikely any of his co-defendants would have engaged in violent and obstructive behavior,” wrote assistant U.S. attorneys Bridget Brennan and Kristy Parker in a 25-page document filed with U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster.

Mullet, 67, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday along with 15 of his family members and followers. Brennan and Kristy described Mullet as a tyrannical leader that led a campaign of terror.

“Samuel Mullet Sr.’s control over the Bergholz community was — and is — absolute. He was able to get men to surrender their wives to him. Wives would be forced to leave their small children and live in Mullet Sr.’s home so that they could be available to him.”

“There is no doubt that Mullet Sr. wanted, agreed with and encouraged all of these attacks,” the prosecutors wrote. “And for that reason, it is remarkable that he continues to deny his own culpability while throwing the other defendants under the proverbial bus, especially when some of these defendants are his children, his nephews and his clergymen.”

On September 20, after four and a half days of deliberations, a jury found all 16 Amish defendants guilty of federal hate crimes and found that Mullet organized the beard-trimming and hair-cutting attacks.

Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial

Copyright 2013 Wild About Trial. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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