Federal prosecutors outlined the strategy Friday in a legal brief in the case of 16 Amish defendants facing trial Aug. 27 in Cleveland.
The government says the alleged sexual “counseling” of wives by Samuel Mullet Sr. shows the control he had over followers at their eastern Ohio farm complex.
Defense attorneys argued in earlier briefs that there is no proof of such sexual conduct and says mentioning it at trial would be prejudicial.
Cutting a man’s beard or a woman’s hair is considered highly offensive to the Amish. The defendants say it was a matter of church discipline.