Sixteen People Sentenced to Prison for Assaults on Amish

Sixteen people were sentenced to prison today for hate crimes arising out of a series of religiously-motivated assaults on practitioners of the Amish religion.

The defendants all reside in Bergholz, Ohio, unless otherwise noted. Samuel Mullet, 67, received a 15 year sentence. Johnny S. Mullet, 39; Lester Mullet, 28, of Hammondsville, Ohio; Levi F. Miller, 54; and Eli M. Miller, 33, received seven year sentences. Daniel S. Mullet, 38; Lester Miller, 38; and Emanuel Schrock, 44, received five year sentences. Raymond Miller, 28, of Irondale, Ohio; and Linda Shrock, 45, both received two year sentences. Freeman Burkholder, 32, of Irondale; Anna Miller, 33; Elizabeth A. Miller, 38, of Irondale; Emma J. Miller, 38; Kathryn Miller, 23, of Irondale; and Lovina Miller, 33, all received a sentence of one year and one day.

They were found guilty of cutting the hair off of Amish men and women in five separate assaults in Ohio. The assaults occurred between September and November of 2011. The reason given for the assaults were religious disputes.

Twelve of the defendants were convicted of conspiracy to violate Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 249, also known as the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which prohibits any person from willfully causing bodily injury to any person, or attempting to do so by use of a dangerous weapon, because of the actual or perceived religion of that person, and Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512, which prohibits obstruction of justice, including witness tampering and the destruction or concealment of evidence.

The jury also convicted various groups of defendants with separate assaults, and Samuel Mullet Sr., who is the Bishop of an Amish community in Berholtz, and Lester Mullet, with concealing or attempting to conceal various items of tangible evidence, including a camera and photographs of the attacks.

During the assaults, the victims were forcibly held down as they were shorn. Individuals that attempted to help the victims were themselves injured in the assaults.