CINCINNATI (AP) - The leader of a group of 16 Amish men and women found guilty of hate crimes for cutting the hair and beards of fellow members of their faith lost his request today to be released from prison while he appeals his conviction and sentencing.
Federal Judge Dan Aaron Polster ruled that Samuel Mullet Sr. still poses a threat to his Amish community because of his leadership power within it and that arguments in his forthcoming appeal do not raise substantial questions of law.
Mullet is serving 15 years in prison stemming from the 2011 eastern Ohio attacks, which were meant to shame fellow Amish accused of straying from strict religious interpretations. Fifteen others convicted in the case were sentenced to one to seven years in prison.
In his ruling, Polster quoted himself from Mullet's February sentencing hearing in explaining why he thinks Mullet poses a danger to his followers.
"They listen to you. They respect you," Polster said. "And they follow what you say or what they think you want them to do, and I think they would do it today."