Amish In Ohio Hair-cutting Case Seek To Avoid Oath

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
Defendants claim hair-cutting was an internal church disciplinary matter

This combo made from photos provided by the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department shows, from left, Levi Miller, Johnny Mullet, and Lester Mullet, of Bergholz, Ohio. The three men believed to be members of a breakaway Amish group were arrested Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 for allegedly going into the home of other Amish and cutting their hair and beards. The attacks occurred over the past three weeks in Carroll, Holmes, Jefferson and Trumbull counties. (AP Photo/Jefferson County Sheriffs Department)

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Some of the 16 people charged in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio are asking not to be required to swear an oath if they testify in federal court.

Pretrial documents filed Monday include the request that Amish witnesses be allowed to affirm the truthfulness of their testimony because many Amish don't believe in swearing oaths. The defendants include members of an eastern Ohio breakaway Amish group.

Cutting a man's beard or a woman's hair is considered highly offensive to the Amish, so prosecutors say the attacks were hate crimes. The defendants say they were internal church disciplinary matters not involving anti-Amish bias.

Defendants including Sam Mullet Sr. want to delay the Aug. 27 trial. Mullet also wants the court to prohibit references to his finances and terminology portraying his community as a cult or splinter group.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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