Jurors seated in Ohio Amish beard-cutting attacks

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CLEVELAND (AP) – A jury has been seated in the trial of 16 Amish people charged with hate crimes in hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in Ohio.

Prosecutors will begin laying out their case Tuesday in a Cleveland federal court against the defendants who include the leader of a breakaway Amish group and four of his children.

Defense attorneys asked potential jurors on Monday whether they view the Amish differently because of their unique religion.

Prosecutors say some of the suspects forcibly cut the beards and hair of Amish men and the hair of women last fall. Authorities say the attacks were motivated by religious differences.

Some of the defendants face prison terms of 20 years or more if convicted. They’ve turned down plea bargains that would have carried much shorter sentences.

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