A federal jury in Cleveland Thursday found the 16 members of the Amish breakaway group guilty of hate crimes for carrying out beard-and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish.
Steven Dettlebach U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Ohio, said that the victims were violently denied the freedom to practice their religion as they saw fit.
"They simply wanted to be left to practice their religion in their own way in peace," Dettlebach explained.
"Unfortunately, the evidence in this case demonstrated that the defendants denied them this most basic of American rights and did so in the most violent of ways."
The jurors also found Samuel Mullet Sr., the leader of the group, guilty of planning the attacks in the fall of 2011.
All of the members of his group are facing prison terms of at least 10 years.
Defense attorneys say the hair cuttings took place, but the dispute was over religious differences and couldn't be classified as hate crimes.
Dettlebach said the evidence shown in the trial depicts the attacks as vicious in nature.
"The evidence in this case showed the defendants invaded their homes, that they physically attacked them, and that they sheared them almost like animals, leaving them bloodied , bruised and beaten."
The beards of men and the hair of women has spiritual significance in the Amish faith.
He (Dettlebach) said members of the Amish community wrote in saying there was no religious dispute between Mullet's group and those they targeted.
"People wrote to us saying the defendants were dangerous and that they were scared of them, thanking and praying for the prosecution team to continue in their work," Dettlebach said.
"Today those prayers have been answered by your (the jury's) work."