Amish group accused of hair-cutting hate crimes


Sixteen men and women have pleaded not guilty to a spate of bizarre hair-cutting attacks against fellow Amish in Ohio.

A feud over church discipline allegedly led to attacks in which beards and hair were sheared, considered deeply offensive in Amish culture. The Amish believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry.

The indictment includes charges of conspiracy, assault and evidence tampering in what prosecutors said were hate crimes motivated by religious differences. The latest indictment added new allegations that the suspects tried to hide or destroy evidence, including a bag of hair.