CLEVELAND -- The leader of 16 Amish convicted in beard-cutting attacks on other members of their faith in Ohio says he has been blamed for running a cult and is ready to take the punishment.
Sixty-seven-year-old Sam Mullet Sr., with his ankles in chains and a white beard down to mid-chest, briefly talked Friday at his sentencing in Cleveland federal court.
Mullet says he's been blamed for running a cult but always lived trying to help others. He told the judge he's ready ``to take the punishment'' for everybody.
The 10 men and six women were convicted last year in five attacks in Amish communities in 2011.
The government says the attacks were retaliation against Amish who had defied or denounced Mullet's authoritarian style.