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Amish guilty of hate crimes for hair attacks in Ohio

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 20 2012 01:59:15 PM CDT

Amy Sancetta, AP

Samuel Mullet Sr., the leader of a breakaway Amish group in Ohio, is among several people arrested on federal hate crime charges for allegedly shaving the beard of a man who refused to support him.

CLEVELAND, Pa. -

Members of an Amish breakaway group in Ohio have been found guilty of hate crimes by carrying out beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in a dispute over religious differences.

The jury on Thursday also found their leader, Samuel Mullet Sr., guilty of planning the attacks last fall in eastern Ohio.

Mullet and his family members were among 16 people who have been on trial in Cleveland.

The government said the defendants targeted the victims' hair because it carries spiritual significance in their faith.

They all face prison terms of 10 years or more.

Defense attorneys had conceded the hair cuttings took place but argue that the government is overreaching by calling what happened hate crimes. They said the cuttings were merely personal family disputes.