Sam Mullet, an Amish sect leader from Bergholz, Ohio, was convicted of hate crimes for his role in an odd string of beard-cutting attacks last year, and was accused of sexually preying on women and tormenting men in his community. What led up to the attacks?

According to Mullet, the violent beard-clipping spree against outsiders began with an incident at a large Amish-run machine sale in Geauga County, Ohio. One of Mullet’s nephews, who lived at Bergholz and was part of the community, was mocked by his own parents — Mullet’s sister and brother-in-law, both defectors from Bergholz — for being, essentially, a beardless sissy.

‘If God was with you, your beard would not have been cut,’ the father, Martin Miller, told his son, Allen Miller. ‘If God is with me, my beard will not be cut.’

‘You said a mouthful,’ Allen said. ‘And if that ever happens, you know it’s true.’

Mullet recalled hearing about the heated exchange when the Miller kids returned home that night. ‘We talked about it,’ he said.

Perhaps the father’s boast was too enticing — within a matter of weeks, Allen and several of his siblings and their spouses went to the home of Martin and Barbara Miller and cut his beard and her hair. ‘God is not with you! God is not with you!’ Allen shouted at his parents after the attack.

“A Bishop Behind Bars.” — M.L. Nestel and Jebediah Reed, The Daily