Youngstown, Ohio -- Four members of a sect that broke away from the mainstream Amish will remain in a federal detention facility until their trial for hate crimes, a judge ruled Wednesday.
The four are part of seven charged with hate crimes, conspiracy to commit hate crimes and aiding and abetting for beard-shearing incidents. Armed with scissors, the group would arrive at the homes of Amish families in rural Ohio after dark and attack the men inside, holding them down as they sheared their beards, which carry religious significance to the Amish.
Ordered held were Sam Mullet, who founded the sect, two of his sons, Johnny and Daniel, and a son-in-law, Emanuel Shrock.
Federal Magistrate Judge George J. Limbert ordered the four held without bond because "They are a danger to the Amish community," he said.
"It appears to me that Sam Mullet has absolute control over his community," the judge concluded.
If convicted of the crimes, the men face up to 10 years in prison. But if prosecutors can successfully argue that kidnapping was an element of the crimes, they could face up to life in prison, said Michael Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland.
Facing hearings before Judge Limbert Friday are another of Sam Mullet's sons, Lester, a nephew, Eli Miller, and a minister, Levi Miller, who is unrelated to the Mullet clan.
The beard-cuttings, according to the FBI, were in retaliation for the actions of mainstream Amish against the Mullet group.