Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Federal Indictments Handed Down In Beard-Cutting Attacks on Amish

A press release yesterday from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio announced that a federal grand jury has returned a 7-count indictment charging 10 men and two women in five separate assaults on members of a rival Amish group. According to the press release:
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, according to the indictment.
The indictment charges conspiracy to violate 18 USC Sec. 249, the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and 18 USC Sec. 1512 which prohibits witness tampering. (See prior related posting.)