CLEVELAND — Day two in the religious hate crimes trial of Amish leader Sam Mullet and his 15 followers.
Wednesday, the prosecution called on two of Mullet’s alleged victims to testify. The first witness to take the stand was Andy Hershberger, the son of Raymond Hershberger, an Amish bishop who Mullet had previously excommunicated.
According to the prosecution, Mullet is the mastermind behind three planned attacks on nine different people who he had shunned.
Hershberger testified that he and his father were attacked by several of Mullet’s followers back on October 4th, 2011.
The prosecution showed a photo, allegedly taken by one of Mullet’s followers, that showed Raymond being held down right before his hair and his beard were sheared.
Hershberger told prosecutors that his father’s long grey beard was cut down to about an inch.
He also testified that his own hair and beard were also cut.
Hershberger also testified that Raymond was so ashamed of the way he looked that he took time off to let his beard grow before being a Bishop again.
The prosecution then called a second witness, Barbara Miller, who is the younger sister of Mullet.
Miller testified that back on September 6th, 2011, she and her husband Marty were attacked by four of Mullet’s followers, which included one of her sons, along with their wives, which included one of her daughters.
Miller testified that her husband was held down by the men and they cut his beard.
She also stated that the wives confronted her and cut her waist-length hair up to her ears.
A total of 15 other defendants are all accused of conspiring against the victims.
The trial is expected to last several weeks.