CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The Amish community wants the federal court to know: Sam Mullet is a danger to society.
It all started in 2007 when rival Amish bishops alerted authorities of child abuse at the Bergholz compound, located southeast of Canton.
Mullet was enraged by the allegations and cut off the beards of his Amish enemies, which is a highly offensive tactic in the Amish community.
A federal jury found Mullet and 15 of his followers guilty of hate crimes, kidnapping and conspiracy.
Sentencing is this Friday morning.
The typically reserved Amish community is sounding off.
They’ve sent at least 14 letters to the judge asking him to keep Sam Mullet, his sons and followers in jail for a long time.
They said they fear the “cult leader,” and they fear for the safety of their children. Mullet was known for ruling his community by fear and intimidation.
During the trial, it was revealed that Mullet would have sex with many of his followers’ wives. He said it was an effort to help marriages.
Just a couple of the comments the judge will consider when handing down his sentences for the 16 men involved include the following:
“My husband is one of the Amish men who got his hair and beard cut, so please understand that we have many fears of him being released," said one community member.
Another Amish community member wrote, “I have known Sam Mullet for years. We think he is an evil and dangerous person, he’s also a cult leader.”
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The convicted men face years in prison, the prosecution is pushing for life in prison for Sam Mullet.