Amish sect leader seeks release from jail

The jailed leader of a breakaway sect of Amish accused of orchestrating a series of beard-cutting attacks on other Amish across Ohio has again asked a federal judge to let him out pending trial, saying he’ll allow electric lines to be installed at his house so that he can be monitored by the government.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes

Samuel Mullet Sr., 66, also said in a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland that he is not a danger to anyone and that his family in the village of Bergholz, Jefferson County, needs him to help maintain his household through the winter because the building has no central heating.

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CNN report on the beard-cutting attacks

But in a follow-up story the Post-Gazette’s Torsten Ove reports

Federal prosecutors in Cleveland say Amish sect leader Sam Mullet should not be let out of jail under any circumstances pending his trial in March on hate crimes charges in connection with a series of beard-cutting attacks against other Amish in Ohio.

Mr. Mullet, 66 — bishop of Bergholz in Jefferson County, Ohio — has been jailed since Nov. 23, when the FBI raided his compound and rounded him up with six of his sons and followers.

Since then he’s tried repeatedly to get released from custody, but each time the Justice Department has argued that he is a danger to society, citing the violence of the attacks, Mr. Mullet’s absolute control over his community and the death threats prosecutors say he made against some of his own children and Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla. […]

On Friday … Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Getz said even if Mr. Mullet does connect to the power grid, monitoring will only serve to alert authorities if he leaves the area.

If that happens, he said, law enforcement faces the dangerous prospect of having to go get him and risk a confrontation with a man the government describes as a cult leader with a “penchant for violence.”

More articles about the ‘Bergholz Clan’

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