Prosecutors say the alleged sexual "counseling" of married women shows the control Samuel Mullet Sr. had over followers at the Amish settlement he founded two decades ago. The 16 people accused of carrying out the hair-cutting attacks last fall all lived on Mullet's settlement in eastern Ohio near the West Virginia panhandle.
The government contends that the hair-cutting was motivated by a religious dispute between Mullet and other Amish bishops who had sought to limit his authority. Those accused of planning and taking part targeted the hair and beards of the Amish because of its spiritual significance in the faith, prosecutors said.
Mullet has denied any involvement.
His defense attorneys had tried before the trial began to bar any testimony about the alleged sexual "counseling." They argued that there was no proof of such sexual conduct and that mentioning it would be highly prejudicial.
U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster told jurors after the woman took the stand that Mullet was not charged with any sex crimes and that they could only consider the testimony as it relates to charges in the indictment.
The woman said her husband had a mental breakdown in the summer of 2008 and was in the hospital when Mullet suggested that her husband's trouble stemmed from dissatisfaction with his marriage. Mullet told her he wanted to help the couple with marriage counseling, and she agreed to his request to move in with him, she said.