Following such assaults one of the attackersÂ would then pose holding up the hair as another follower snapped photos with aÂ disposable camera.
The alleged incidents are considered deeplyÂ offensive in Amish culture as the beard is considered a symbol of manhood andÂ faith.
Prosecutors claim Mullet was motivated byÂ religious disagreements between Amish bishops and his group, which has beenÂ described as being like a ‘cult’.
The trial is expected to hear details aboutÂ Mullet’s supposed domination of 18 families living in their isolated settlementÂ near Bergholz, Ohio.
Court documents already filed claimÂ he hadÂ kept followers for weeks in chicken coops to ‘cleanse’ them ofÂ sinful thoughtsÂ and counselled women on how to be ‘sexually satisfied’Â before sleeping withÂ them.
During the opening of the trial in Cleveland,Â Assistant U.S. Attorney BridgetÂ M. Brennan said that ‘every one of theseÂ attacks targeted those symbolsÂ of Amish righteousness’.
She said some suspects kept the hair theyÂ cut, and one defendant took along a disposable camera to takeÂ pictures.
She presented one photo to jurors,Â saying itÂ showed a suspect holding an Amish bishop on the night someÂ defendants brokeÂ into his house and cut his beard.
Ms Brennan said: ‘They wanted to see theÂ trophies they collected’.
Court affidavits already filed giveÂ moreÂ lurid details – Mullet supposedly had ‘acts of sexual intimacy’Â with marriedÂ women and forced adults to hit each other up with woodenÂ planks.
ProsecutorsÂ have also alleged that MulletÂ ‘exerted control over the BergholzÂ community by taking the wives of other menÂ into his home, and byÂ overseeing various means of disciplining communityÂ members, includingÂ corporal punishment.’
Source: Daily Mail