published Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Pennsylvania: Man charged in attack on 3 Mennonites

LANCASTER, Pa. — Police in central Pennsylvania have charged a 22-year-old man with attacking three elderly Mennonite sisters because of their faith.

Northern Lancaster County Regional Police said Sunday that Dereck Taylor Holt faces counts including aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and burglary.

Authorities say Holt posed as an insurance salesman to gain entrance to the victims’ home in Clay Township on Friday.

Police say he tied up the women and assaulted them with a stun gun while raging against their religion. The victims are between 84 and 90 years old.

Police Chief David Steffen says he’s pursuing the attack as a hate crime. He plans a news conference Monday.

Holt has no fixed address and is being held on $1 million bail. It was not immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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