16 Amish reject hair-cutting plea deals - case now goes to trial

Amish Defendants

On Monday, sixteen people charged in beard and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio have rejected government plea bargain offers of leniency. This means, the case will now go to trial.

Prosecutors say a feud over church discipline led to the attacks in which the beards and hair of men and hair of women were cut. It is an act that is considered deeply offensive in Amish culture.

According to authorities, several members of the group living in eastern Ohio carried out the attacks last September, October and November. After the attacks, they took photos to shame them.

Prosecutors said the attacks were hate crimes, but the defendants said they were "internal church disciplinary matters."