Prosecutors Take Aim at Amish Leader’s Sex Life
CLEVELAND — The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed new motions, asking a federal judge to allow prosecutors to refer to controversial Amish bishop Sam Mullet as a cult leader, and to present testimony at his upcoming trial about his sexual activities with his followers.
Investigators say Mullet exerted so much control that after he had a falling out with his fellow bishops, his devotees acted on his orders to break into their homes and cut off their hair and beards, which the Amish consider insulting and degrading.
Defense attorneys object to the use of the word cult, but the Jefferson County sheriff, who has been investigating Mullet for years, says his enclave in Bergholz, Ohio fits the classic description.
Sheriff Fred Abdalla told Fox 8, “Three years ago, I equated him to Jim Jones. If my office received a call that he was in the community stating that everyone out there was dead, it wouldn’t have surprised me. If he would tell them, ‘Drink the lemonade with poison, they’ll be with Jesus in the morning’, they would do it.”
According to new court filings, federal prosecutors are asking the judge to allow them to present evidence that Mullet’s control over his disciples included sex with female relatives and the wives of fellow Amish men.
“When the FBI and my office raided the compound back in November, he was in bed that morning at 6 o’clock with his 32-year-old niece, there’s no doubt in my mind, and I’ve personally talked with Amish men out there stating he had sex with their wives.”
At the heart of the case against Sam Mullet is the contention of federal prosecutors that he conspired with his followers to carry out the series of what investigators call religious hate crimes.
“That’s exactly what he did. If somebody didn’t agree with him, he went after them and that’s what he did when he allowed his sons to go out and do what they did,” said Abdalla.
Mullet and 15 members of his enclave are scheduled to stand trial on August 27. If convicted, Mullet could face life in prison.