Although the Amish in America tend to keep their bonnets down and their plows out of “English” trouble, two young men in a Lancaster, Wisconsin Amish family have been charged with incest and bestiality in a case the Grant County Sheriff’s department says is one of the most “strange” and “disturbing” they’ve ever seen.
19-year-old Christian G. Stolzfus and 18-year-old Dannie G. Stolzfus, both of Fennimore, face 400 and 90 years respectively in jail for the alleged sexual abuse of animals and unidentified human victims ranging in age from five to 16. Despite the hefty jail terms on the table, both young men have been released on their own recognizance pending trial. Local media detailed the charges against the two men:
Christian Stolzfus is charged with repeated sexual assault of a child, four counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 without great bodily harm; attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 without great bodily harm; two counts of incest; exposing genitals or pubic area; and two counts of sexual gratification with an animal. Authorities said that they believe these incidents occurred during a four-year period.
The crimes are said to have occurred on a farm in Mount Ida, and the bestiality related crimes are believed to involve a cow and a horse. Authorities say family members of the men bucked tradition of not involving the outside community in Amish affairs and relatives of the young men contacted social services to report the incidents.
“The age of (the victims) is a concern to us,” Grant County Sheriff Keith Govier said. “There was also some developmental issues with some of the victims. And hopefully their work with Social Services will address those things.”
Law enforcement officials investigated the reports for three months before finally arresting the two. No court dates have yet been set in the case.