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7 Amish men charged with hate crimes

CLEVELAND, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Seven Ohio men were arrested Wednesday on federal hate crime charges for attacking and cutting the hair of fellow Amish men as part of a religious dispute.

A criminal complaint filed in Cleveland alleges the men used scissors and battery-powered clippers to cut the beards and hair head of several Amish men during an argument. The attack caused bodily harm to the victims and others who tried to stop the attacks, a release from the United States Department of Justice said.

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A man's beard and hair are considered sacred in the Amish religion.

Samuel Mullet Sr., Johnny S. Mullet, Daniel S. Mullet, Levi F. Miller, Eli M. Miller and Emanuel Schrock -- all of Bergholz -- and Lester S. Mullet, of Hammondsville, were charged with willfully causing bodily injury to a person or attempting to do so by use of a dangerous weapon because of the actual or perceived religion of that person. Doing so is in violation of the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

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