An Amish breakaway compound was raided by authorities Wednesday morning, leading to seven hate crimes arrests for incidents in the past few months in which members allegedly forcibly cut the hair of other Amish people in Ohio, according to The Associated Press.
Sam Mullet, the purported leader of the sect, was among those arrested, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
According to the Post-Gazette, authorities believe the attacks were ordered as a way to get revenge against the Amish leaders who excommunicated Mullet. In the Amish community, men don't shave their beards and women let their hair grow long. It is considered humiliating to have your hair cut, the Post-Gazette reported.
They changed the rulings of our church here, and they're trying to force their way down our throat, make us do like they want us to do, and we're not going to do that, Mullet said to The AP.
According to The AP, Mullet formed his group in 1995. The Post-Gazette noted that he was excommunicated because he was believed to be overbearing in the way he ran his church, including rules related to sexual practice. According to a court affidavit, he would have sexual relations with married women in the community to cleanse them of the devil, The AP reported.