- - Wednesday, November 23, 2011

OHIO

7 arrested by FBI in Amish haircut attacks

MILLERSBURG | The leader of a breakaway Amish group allowed the beatings of those who disobeyed him, made some members sleep in a chicken coop and had sexual relations with married women to “cleanse them,” federal authorities said as they charged him and six others with hate crimes in hair-cutting attacks against other Amish.

Authorities raided the group’s compound in eastern Ohio on Wednesday morning and arrested seven men, including group leader Sam Mullet and three of his sons.

Several members of the group carried out the attacks in September and October by forcefully cutting the beards and hair of Amish men and women, authorities said. Cutting the hair is a highly offensive act to the Amish, who believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry.

The attacks struck at the core of the Amish identity and tested their principles. They strongly believe that they must be forgiving in order for God to forgive them, which often means handing out their own punishment and not reporting crimes to law enforcement.

MICHIGAN

Professor’s nude photos prompt ethics questions

EAST LANSING | A Michigan State University associate professor’s nude photographs that show him posing with students have prompted questions about art and ethics among some associated with the school.

Danny Guthrie’s work is well-known by campus officials, who have reviewed the issue, the Detroit News reported Wednesday. Coverage by the State News student newspaper drew recent attention at the East Lansing campus to Mr. Guthrie’s photos, which depict the 65-year-old teacher bare-chested in some photos, while in others he’s fully clothed. Mr. Guthrie poses with male and female students, faculty and colleagues and often is touching them.

In an email to the Detroit News, Mr. Guthrie, whose biography on the university’s website says he has been a faculty member there for 13 years, declined an interview and wrote: “It is not a great climate for being edgy in the area of sexuality.”

The school has determined there’s a protocol in place so students do not feel pressured to participate, said Heather Swain, interim vice president for university relations. She said Mr. Guthrie does not recruit students currently enrolled in his classes to model for photographs.

NEW JERSEY

Man acquitted of killing five teens in 1978

NEWARK | A New Jersey man on Wednesday was acquitted of locking five teenagers in an abandoned home in 1978 and burning them to death in retaliation for stealing marijuana, ending a case that went cold until 2008 because no bodies were ever found.

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