Friday, September 21, 2012

Mullet Cult Convicted

The trial of Sam Mullet and fifteen of his Bergholz Clan followers ended yesterday with convictions for all of them on federal hate crime charges. This goes to show that even if your name is Mullet you'll still get in a lot of trouble if you order people to go around cutting hair, and arguing that you were just following the hair-cutting orders of a guy named Mullet won't help you either.

Sam Mullet Sr. and the 15 followers were found guilty of conspiracy to violate federal hate-crime law in connection with what authorities said were the religiously motivated attacks on several fellow Amish people last year. The verdicts were read in U.S. District Court in Cleveland following several days of jury deliberation and a trial that began in late August, a U.S. attorney's office said.

Prosecutors said the 15 followers, at Mullet's instruction, shaved the beards and cut the hair of Amish people who had left his group over various religious disagreements. Five attacks happened in four Ohio counties between September and November 2011, authorities said. To the Amish, a beard is a significant symbol of faith and manhood, and the way Amish women wear their hair also is a symbol of faith, authorities said.

When interviewed back in November, Mullet was smug about the charges against him, questioning whether beard-cutting could even be considered a crime. Well, the answer is that in this case it can under hate crime laws, because hair and beards have great religious significance to the Amish. Reuters reports that Mullet and his followers face a minimum sentence of 210 months, so it sounds like they will have many years of bad prison haircuts ahead of them.

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