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12 Amish Plead Not Guilty In Hair-Cutting Attacks : NPR

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January 11, 2012

Twelve members of a breakaway Amish group in Ohio have pleaded not guilty to beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in a feud over church discipline.

The seven original defendants and five more added in an indictment returned last month entered the not guilty pleas to federal charges Wednesday in a crowded Cleveland courtroom.

Judge Dan Aaron Polster refused a defense appeal to release the suspected ringleader and his son on bond.

A feud over church discipline allegedly led to five attacks in which beards and hair of both men and women were cut, which is considered deeply offensive in Amish culture.

The seven-count indictment includes charges of conspiracy, assault and evidence tampering in what prosecutors say were hate crimes motivated by religious differences.

Beard cutting. Very offensive.