The ringleader in the string of hair-and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison and 15 family members received sentences of one year to seven years.
“The victims were terrorized and traumatized,” U.S. District Court Judge Dan Aaron Polster said in sentencing leader Sam Mullet Sr., 67, who sat without emotion during the sentencing.
The judge said the defendants had violated the constitutional rights protecting religious practice that had benefited them as Amish — such as an exemption from jury service and allowing Amish children to leave school at age 14.
“Each of you has received the benefits of that First Amendment,” Polster said.
The judge said the defendants have two weeks to file an appeal of their sentence or conviction. Defense attorneys have indicated such appeals are likely.