CV NEWS FEED // The Christian navy veteran who destroyed the Satanic display in the Iowa State Capitol building just weeks before Christmas has been charged with committing a “hate crime” for his actions.
In December, the Satanic Temple put up a temporary “holiday Satanic display” in the Iowa state capitol. On December 14, Michael Cassidy of Mississippi beheaded the cloaked, ram-headed idol at the center of the display and threw its head into a nearby garbage can.
Cassidy turned himself in to police at the capitol after destroying the display, which included a Satanic altar. Cassidy was initially charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief.
This month, after assessing damage costs, law enforcement officials escalated Cassidy’s charge to a class D felony.
“Court documents say the cost to replace or repair the property is between $750 and $1,500,” reported KCCI of Des Moines. “They also show that the act was committed ‘in violation of individual rights’ under Iowa’s hate crime statute.”
The Polk County Attorney Office stated Tuesday that the evidence was clear that Cassidy “destroyed the property because of the victim’s religion,” which “enhances the charge….”
Cassidy’s arraignment is February 15. If convicted, under current Iowa state law Cassidy could face up to five years in prison and extensive fines.
Cassidy told the Republic Sentinel shortly after his actions in the Iowa capitol, “I saw this blasphemous statue and was outraged. My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.”
“The world may tell Christians to submissively accept the legitimization of Satan, but none of the founders would have considered government sanction of Satanic altars inside Capitol buildings as protected by the First Amendment,” Cassidy added.
After Cassidy destroyed the Satanic display, thousands of people donated to a fundraiser to help cover his legal fees. Retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and attorney Davis Younts is representing Cassidy in court, the Sentinel previously reported:
“My client was motivated by his faith to peacefully protest a display that is a direct affront to God,” Younts told The Sentinel. “When others, including elected leaders, were unwilling to act, he peacefully removed the display. It is my hope that the citation will be dismissed when my client’s actions are understood and that he will not face prosecution because of his faith.”