(CN) – Authorities arrested seven Ohio men Wednesday on charges that they accosted a group of Amish men and cut off their beards and head hair.
“In the Amish religion, a man’s beard and head hair are sacred,” according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Prosecutors say the attack occurred during “a religiously-based dispute.”
“In doing so, the defendants forcibly restrained multiple Amish men and cut off their beards and head hair with scissors and battery-powered clippers, causing bodily injury to these men while also injuring others who attempted to stop the attacks,” according to the statement.
They face life in prison for the alleged assault, a violation of the Matthew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
The men arrested are: Lester S. Mullet, of Hammondsville, Ohio; and Samuel Mullet Sr., Johnny S. Mullet, Daniel S. Mullet, Levi F. Miller, Eli M. Miller, and Emanuel Schrock, all of Bergholz, Ohio.