News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Courts and Crime


Amish leader Mullet gets 15 years in prison for hate crimes
Mullet Sr. and his followers are sentenced for religiously motivated hair cuttings
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
U.S. Attorney Steve Dettlebach (at podium) talks about today's sentencing of Sam Mullet Sr. and his followers for hate crimes. Beside him are local prosecutors and law enforcement officials involved in the case.
Courtesy of Kevin Niedermier
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Amish bishop Sam Mullet Sr. has avoided a life sentence for his role in a series of beard and hair cutting attacks. But today in Cleveland, a federal judge sentenced the 67-year-old to 15-years in prison for orchestrating the attacks on other Amish.

Mullet could have been sentenced to life because the attacks were prosecuted as religious hate crimes. Fifteen followers, including Mullets sons and six women, also received prison sentences ranging from one-to-seven years for their roles in the attacks.
Click to listen

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:21)


In Amish culture, women’s hair and men’s breads hold strong religious significance.  And under Sam Mullet Sr.’s orders, his followers cut the hair of Amish they believed were not strict enough. Mullet and his followers say the attacks were merely family quarrels, and that the world outside the Amish community doesn't understand.

But U.S. District Judge Dan Polster says the attacks, carried out with scissors and electric shavers,were premeditated hate crimes that led to injuries, disfigurements and terror among the victims and Amish nationwide. Though Mullet never participated in an actual attack, Polster says he used the power he had over his followers to encourage them to carry out the hair cuttings, and he never did anything to stop them.

Holmes County Prosecutor Steve Knowling started the investigation into the attacks more than a year-and-a-half ago. He says the Amish community will sleep better knowing Mullet and his followers will spend years in prison.

“They’ll be free to practice their religion and live their lives without fear of Sam Mullet reaching out to them again through his henchmen and committing more acts of home invasion and assault. I’ve regarded this case that started in our county as religious terrorism, and I’m extremely gratified with the results.”  

Mullet not remorseful, followers vow to serve his time
Knowling says the Amish usually resolve differences within the community. The fact that they accepted help from law enforcement and the courts shows how frightened  they were of Mullet and his sect in Bergholtz, which is a community of fewer than 700 in Jefferson County.

Before being sentenced, the 67-year old Mullet told the judge that he doesn’t have long to live, and that “if somebody needs to be blamed for this, and I’m a cult leader, I’m willing to take the blame for everybody.”  He added that he didn’t want to say much else because his words always get twisted.

Mullet’s defense attorney, Ed Bryan, asked for mercy, saying 1 1/2 to 2 years in prison was more appropriate than life.

Each defendant addressed the judge before the sentencing. One man cried, and said he would never do something like this again, some expressed shock that cutting hair could get someone in this much trouble. Most apologized, and some of the men whose wives were also being sentenced, offered to serve the women's time as well. Some defendants even offered to serve part of Sam Mullet’s prison time.

Still a threat
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District, Steve Dettlebach, says that shows Mullet remains a danger to the Amish community and needs to be locked away.

“Facing accountability for their own acts after being led into this by Sam Mullet, that defendant after defendant would offer, yet again, to sacrifice their lives for him is just proof that he’s a cult leader. It’s what we’ve said all along. And Mullet is a thug, a bully, and he belongs in federal prison.”

Dettlebach says Mullet and his followers violated the First Amendment which ensures religious freedom. And before issuing the sentences, Judge Polster said that makes the case even more reprehensible because the Amish, like Mullet, benefit from the religious freedom that exempts them from serving in the military or on jury duty, and from going to school beyond the eighth grade.                                                
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

HOF's Canton expansion could take an island and make it a village
I live in the block from Broad St to the Hall of Fame and will be impacted by the expansion. I am in the process of selling my home and planned to long before i...

Cleveland redeploys police to replace rejected red-light traffic cameras
Periodic rotational enforcement without warning does NOT change behavior and the city officials know that. This is the basis of all officer-run enforcement trap...

New enrollment period offers more insurance options
The removal of federal funding for healthcare CO-OPs may limit the growth of the CO-OP movement. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=6381

The family of Boardman vet killed in Vietnam receives his medals
My name is Mike Eisenbraun. I am Larry's brother. I was 14 years old when Larry was killed in Vietnam. He has been gone for 46 years but it seems like yester...

Cleveland seniors are creating new wealth -- and facing new challenges
Why is anyone surprised that we people over 65 are not retiring? If you have been paying attention, defined company funded pensions were phasing out in the eigh...

Ohio company cuts off a dairy supplier after allegations of animal abuse
these people should be held accountable for their actions. i would be more than pleased to see a year or more behind bars. i will NEVER eat anything that comes ...

Goodyear recruits thousands of vets
What a wonderful interview! Excellent reporting skills by a talented young reporter! I look forward to hearing more from Ms. Schley!

Ohio Democratic Party begins the rebuilding process
I agree 100% with Sen. Brown. I think it is absolutely critical for the Democratic Party in Ohio to engage in the long, tedious, hard task of re-building from t...

They're talking again in the Macedonia bridge dispute
Norfolk Southern says the Ledge road bridge meets regulations for train traffic, however it was built as an overpass for a roadway and/or farm usage. I think t...

Cleveland City Council to consider transgender public restroom law
this is sick. I do not want my daughter in the same bathroom as a perverted 45 year old man. this proposed legislation could seriously damage the security of ch...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University