WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that a federal grand jury in Cleveland returned a 10-count superseding indictment in United States v. Mullet, et al. The superseding indictment charges 10 men and six women, all residents of Ohio, with federal crimes arising out of a series of religiously-motivated assaults on practitioners of the Amish religion.
The superseding indictment addresses five separate assaults that occurred between September and November of 2011, and obstructive conduct related to those assaults. In each assault, defendants forcibly removed beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes. As set forth in the superseding indictment, the manner in which Amish men wear their beards and Amish women wear their hair are symbols of their faith. The superseding indictment adds four defendants, Lovina Miller, Kathryn Miller, Emma Miller and Elizabeth Miller, who had not previously been charged. The indictment also adds charges against some of the defendants for the concealment and destruction of evidence, including a disposable camera, shears and a bag of hair from victims of the attacks, as well as a charge against Samuel Mullet Sr., for false statements he allegedly made to federal agents during the investigation.
This case is being investigated by the Cleveland Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas Getz and Bridget M. Brennan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio and Deputy Chief Kristy Parker of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section. For more information on the 12 defendants previously charged in this case, please visit www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/December/11-crt-1683.html.
An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent of the charges until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.