orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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February 9, 2013

Ohio Amish beard-cutting ringleader gets 15 years

(Continued)

CLEVELAND —

The jury had sided with prosecutors' arguments that the defendants should be found guilty of a hate crime because religious differences brought about the attacks.

The judge said the defendants have two weeks to file appeals of their sentences or convictions. Defense attorneys have indicated such appeals are likely.

Rhonda Kotnik, attorney for Kathryn Miller, a 24-year-old mother of three who received a one-year sentence, said appeals would focus on whether the hate-crimes law is unconstitutionally broad and whether restraining the victims to cut their beards amounted to kidnapping.

"There are lots of issues," she said.

Nine of 10 men who were convicted have been locked up awaiting sentencing. The six women, who all have children, have been free on bond.

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