published Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

FBI arrests 7 in Amish haircut attacks in Ohio

  • photo
    Sam Mullet stands in the front yard of his Bergholz, Ohio home on Monday. Oct. 10, 2011. The leader of a breakaway Amish group, Mullet said an attack on fellow Amish in which a man's beard was cut off was a religious issue stemming from long-standing resentment of his group's treatment. Mullet, 66, said the goal was to send a message to Amish in Holmes County that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Mullet and his community.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

BERGHOLZ, Ohio — Federal authorities have arrested seven men in Ohio on federal hate crime charges in hair-cutting attacks against the Amish.

Authorities arrested the men Wednesday morning at their compound in eastern Ohio. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland says the men are expected to be arraigned later Wednesday.

Authorities say members of a breakaway Amish group forcefully cut the beards and hair of several Amish men and women in recent months. Among those arrested Wednesday are the breakaway group's leader and three of his sons.

Cutting the hair is a highly offensive act to the Amish, who believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry.

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