Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

ENCORE!

Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FACE-OFF

French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

Read more

Americas

Accused plead 'not guilty' in Amish hair attack case

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-20

Sixteen members of an Amish community in Ohio pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of attacking rival Amish by breaking into their homes and cutting their beards and hair. Some are also accused of concealing and destroying evidence.

AFP - Sixteen members of a US Amish community accused of carrying out a string of beard and hair-cuttings against religious rivals have pleaded not guilty and are set to go on trial in August.

The defendants -- 10 men and six women -- refused to speak to media after their afternoon hearing on Thursday over what prosecutors have called "religiously-motivated assaults" between September and November of last year.

Their lawyers have urged their release, saying the seven who remain incarcerated -- including alleged ringleader Samuel Mullet -- need to get back to their families to help with the spring planting season.

"I talked with my client and she's got other members of her family and her children planting the crops in the field," attorney Joseph Dubyak told reporters.

Edward Bryan, Mullet's lawyer, told Fox 8 News that he would seek to have his client released on bail.

"His family needs him home right now. This is a very busy time for Amish people. Obviously, there are a lot of fields to be plowed," he said.

The Amish, a close-knit Mennonite Christian community that predominantly dwells in the central US states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, shun modern conveniences such as electricity and motor vehicles.

Mullet, the bishop of the Amish community in the village of Bergholz, Ohio, has also been charged with making false statements to federal agents during the investigation.

Many of the other accused are members of Mullet's family.

They are accused of breaking into homes and forcibly cutting off men's beards and women's hair -- both symbols of piety for the Amish.

The defendants allegedly used scissors, battery-powered clippers and eight-inch (20-centimeter) horse mane shears "sharp enough to cut through leather," according to the indictment.

Some of them are also accused of concealing and destroying evidence, including a disposable camera, shears and a bag of hair from the victims.

The trial has been set for August 27.

Date created : 2012-04-20

COMMENT(S)