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Ohio Amish beard-cutting ringleader gets 15 years

In this photo made on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, an Amish woman walks down the dirt road past the home of Sam Mullet Sr., and one of the the farms in Bergholz, Ohio that are worked by the families of sixteen men and women facing sentencing Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio. The defendants want leniency so they can return to their homes and farms, to teach their sons a trade and their daughters how to sew, cook and keep house. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

In this photo made on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, an Amish woman walks down the dirt road past the home of Sam Mullet Sr., and one of the the farms in Bergholz, Ohio that are worked by the families of sixteen men and women facing sentencing Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 in beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio. The defendants want leniency so they can return to their homes and farms, to teach their sons a trade and their daughters how to sew, cook and keep house. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The ringleader in hair- and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Sixty-seven-year-old Samuel Mullet Sr. was sentenced yesterday in Cleveland federal court. Judge Dan Aaron Polster handed down sentences ranging from one to seven years to 15 other Amish.

The 10 men and six women were convicted last year in five attacks in Amish communities in 2011.

Prosecutors say the attacks were retaliation against Amish who had defied or denounced Mullet’s authoritarian style. They sought a life term.

Mullet’s lawyer calls it an internal matter that didn’t rise to a hate crime. The
attorney had asked for a
sentence of two years or
less.

Amish believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards once they marry. Cutting it would be offensive to Amish.

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