A group of jailed Amish men were denied permission to leave jail to attend a family wedding on Wednesday.
The prisoners are among 16 Amish men who were convicted in a series of beard- and hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish men; five of the nine who are currently in prison requested the leave. The remaining seven defendants are free as they await sentencing on Feb. 8.
Presiding Federal Judge Dan Polster and prosecutors agree that if they are released from jail, they may become fugitives or continue their attacks, which were considered hate crimes, stemming from religious disputes among the group, according to the AP.
Prosecutors say that among those who requested leave for the Thanksgiving wedding in Bergholz, Ohio, were two brothers and an uncle of the bride, whom, along with her groom, were also involved in the attacks, but have not yet been sentenced.
"Lizzie Mullet and Ferdinand Miller are unindicted co-conspirators -- they are not simply relatives of the defendants,’’ prosecutors said.
During the trial, a recording that captured Miller suggesting to his father that the attacks continue was reportedly submitted as evidence.
‘‘If we can get through this, then we can go get more beard hair,’’ Miller said, according to prosecutors.
J. Dean Carro, attorney for Lester Miller, the bride’s uncle, stated that he accepted the ruling.
“It was certainly worth the effort to make the motion, but I do understand the judge’s concerns,” he said.
The attacks were orchestrated as a shame measure against members who were believed to be straying from their beliefs.
However, the defense argued that the acts that took place were according to religious guidelines, in which the government should not be involved.