Sins of the Amish: Where Are David, Eli, and Johnny Byler Today? – ‘Sins of the Amish,’ a tragic two-part docuseries on Peacock, sheds light on the horrific sexual assault that occurs in the Plain Community. The documentary, directed by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan, explores the horrible sexual abuse experiences of former Amish women, who were frequently preyed upon by their own family members. Mary Byler, who was molested by her biological brothers for years, is one such brave survivor.
Let’s find out what happened to her abusers, Johnny, Eli, and David Byler, now that she’s broken free from the cycle of abuse and is on the road to recovery!
Must Read: Where is the Ex-Amish Mary Byler Now?
Who are David, Eli, and Johnny Byler, and what do they do?
Johnny, Eli, and David Byler grew up in an orthodox Amish community with five other brothers and two sisters, Mary, and a younger sister. Mary’s father began molesting her when she was four years old, but it ceased when he died in a buggy accident the following year. Mary’s elder cousins began assaulting her after the family moved from Viroqua, Wisconsin, to Sugar Grove, Pennsylvania. Not only that, but when Johnny was around 12, and Mary was 6, he began abusing her as well.
Eli then joined his older brother in attacking Mary sexually. She claims the former would rape her in the milk house and barn on their family’s farm. Johnny, on the other hand, continued to rape her throughout her adolescence. Mary claimed that if she locked the door to her room, he would crawl in via the window or even remove the door’s hinges. According to Mary, both of her brothers once attacked her at the same time, and she was defeated.
This heinous event became routine in the household, and Mary attempted to warn her mother, Sally, of the abuse. “You’re not fighting hard enough, and you’re not praying hard enough… Every time I mentioned it to her, she would respond that they had already confessed in church and that you were being unforgiving,” Mary explained.
Not only that, but her stepfather, William Kempf, was physically violent to all of the children and used to beat them up on a regular basis. Her repeated pleadings to her mother not to leave her alone with the lads were also ignored.
Mary was abused by Johnny and Eli for 11 years until she reached 17. That’s when she began to think that their younger sister, who was in her late teens at the time, was being abused by their older brother, David. Unfortunately, Sally gave the young girl the same response as her elder sister, telling her to remain quiet and forgive her brother. This was the turning point for Mary, since she didn’t want her younger sister to go through what she had.
When the religious leaders in Mary’s community ignored her complaints, she went to the authorities outside of her community in 2004. She reported her brothers to the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department, and she was able to extract Johnny’s confession of sexually abusing her with the use of a wiretap investigation.
Johnny, Eli, and David were charged with many criminal offences based on this, as well as the whole investigation report. Sally was also charged with failing to safeguard her daughter, while William was charged with misdemeanours for assaulting Mary.
What Has Happened to Johnny, Eli, and David Byler?
Then-25-year-old Johnny Byler acknowledged rapping Mary over 200 times, while Eli admitted to rapping her 15 to 16 times. Johnny was sentenced to one year in county jail with work release during the day and an additional ten years of probation after pleading guilty to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a child.
During his hearing, more than 100 Amish community members unexpectedly showed up to support him in the courtroom. Johnny apologised to Mary for causing her irreparable harm and to his community for bringing them dishonour in his remarks.
Surprisingly, no Amish members backed Mary, believing that Johnny had already been sufficiently chastised by being briefly shunned by the church, as is customary in their society. Eli and David, on the other hand, were apprehended while attempting to depart the state, and the former pleaded guilty to one count of child sexual abuse in the second degree and felony bail jumping.
Eli was sentenced to eight years in prison, while David, aged eighteen, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree sexual abuse of a child.
According to the documentary, Eli returned to the Sugar Grove Amish community after his release and continues to reside in the old family home. Johnny married and had children, and it’s probable that he and David are still living the Amish way of life, as they avoid the spotlight and the rest of the world. They might, however, be found in other parts of the Plain Community. Meanwhile, Mary has long since left the community and is prospering as a child sexual assault survivor advocate.