Two Amish brothers convicted of sexually molesting their 13-year-old relative have been spared prison over concerns other inmates will hurt them.

The siblings, who belonged to the strict traditionalist Christian sect which shuns technology in Missouri, United States, have avoided jail over fears they will be targeted behind bars.

The decision to give Aaron C.M. Schwartz, 22, and Petie C.M.Schwartz, 18, ten year suspended prison sentences each as part of a plea agreement has reportedly sparked anger locally.

The pair and their two younger brothers - who were not charged due to their age - repeatedly sexually molested their female relative, reports Metro.

Petie Schwartz, 18, also pleaded guilty to molesting the girl

A prosecutor in the case told local media the brothers would have been "eaten alive" in the prison system.

The victim became pregnant following the assaults, and it was unclear which of the brothers is the father of her child.

The abuse came to light when the girl saw a doctor about her pregnancy.

The doctor reported it to police and the girl told officers in an interview she had been abused by all four of the brothers.

Charges were filed in June, and the girl has since reportedly given birth in recent weeks.

According to US media both brothers pleaded guilty to two felony counts of third-degree child molestation with a child under age 14, and each received suspended prison sentences totalling 15 years.

Both men have been put on Missouri’s sex offenders’ register for life, and will be sent to jail if they do not complete the state’s sex offender treatment program within the next 12 months, reports said.

The pair must also reportedly complete 100 hours of community service and pay $250 (£200) to a law enforcement fund and each write an apology letter to the local Amish community they belong to in Seymour.

According to a report in a local newspaper, Webster County Prosecutor Ben Berkstresser said he was aware that the sentences would cause outrage in the local community.

He said two other brothers, both children, also engaged in sexual acts with the girl and there was "no question" it had occurred, reports the Springfield News Leader.

“All of them had sexual relations with (the under-aged female relative)," Mr Berkstresser reportedly told the Webster County Citizen.

Referring to the suspended prison sentence, Mr Berkstresser reportedly said: "These two young men would’ve been eaten alive in the state prison system."

"Previously, I’ve been very harsh on the Amish when they’ve been charged with crimes of this nature… In this instance, these two boys are very immature relative to their respective ages. Maturity wise, they are much younger than their age."