A federal grand jury in Ohio returned a seven-count indictment on Tuesday that charges 10 men and two women with federal crimes related to what the feds say were religiously motivated attacks of rival Amish factions.
Several members of the Mullet breakaway clan — Samuel Mullet Sr., Johnny S. Mullet, Daniel S. Mullet, Levi F. Miller, Eli M. Miller, Emanuel Schrock and Lester S. Mullet — were arrested by the FBI in late November. Tuesday’s grand jury indictment includes charges against Lester Miller, Raymond Miller, Freeman Burkholder, Anna Miller and Linda Shrock.
The indictment mentions five different assaults that allegedly took place between September and November. Because members of the Amish community don’t use cars, they allegedly hired drivers so they could get away after their attacks. From a DOJ press release:
According to the indictment, Samuel Mullet Sr. is the Bishop of the Amish community in Bergholz, Ohio, while the remaining defendants are all members of that community. Mullet Sr. exerted control over the Bergholz community by taking the wives of other men into his home, and by overseeing various means of disciplining community members, including corporal punishment. As a result of religious disputes with other members of the Ohio Amish community, the defendants planned and carried out a series of assaults on their perceived religious enemies. The assaults involved the use of hired drivers, either by the defendants or the alleged victims, because practitioners of the Amish religion do not operate motor vehicles. The assaults all entailed using scissors and battery-powered clippers to forcibly cut or shave the beard hair of the male victims and the head hair of the female victims. During each assault, the defendants restrained and held down the victims. During some of the assaults, the defendants injured individuals who attempted to intervene to protect or rescue the victims. Following the attacks, some of the defendants participated in discussions about concealing photographs and other evidence of the assaults.