Amish Community Shocked By One Families Secrets - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/22/04-Viroqua, Wisconsin

Amish Community Shocked By One Families Secrets

It's a story that has shocked an Amish community in Wisconsin, as a family full of secrets has been exposed.

Now, two brothers are paying the price for sexually abusing their sister. And another thirteen family members may also be guilty of sexually abusing the young woman for more than a decade.

Mary Byler spent years full of fear and remained silent regarding the abuse until she left the Amish community in February and went to police with her story.

Mary says she was sexually assaulted by her brother, Johnny more than 100 times. She says she would lock herself in her room to escape, but he would pry the hinges off the door. Mary faced her brothers in court saying, "from the time I was eight and as far as I can remember until I was fourteen, you raped me. You went through extreme measures to rape. I was never safe from you until now. I don't see how you can live with yourself."

Johnny Byler was crying as he replied saying, "I have hurt a lot of people in this situation. I have given the Amish a very bad name."

The Amish community imposes its own religious laws and without Mary's testimony, the crimes may never have come to light. The Byler brothers received the communities most severe form of punishment as they have been banned from community activities for several weeks.

Johny Byler has also been sentenced to ten years probation and one year in the county jail "at night." He'll be free to spend the days with his wife and children, as well as to work his farm.

The other brother, Eli, who is unmarried, was sentenced to eight years in state prison.

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