Christian Veteran Hit With Hate Crime Charge for Vandalizing Satanic Altar in Iowa Capitol

Chris Menahan
Jan. 30, 2024

Christian veteran Michael Cassidy was hit with a hate crime charge for vandalizing a Satanic altar erected inside the Iowa Capitol in December.

From The Des Moines Register, "Suspect charged with hate crime for destroying Satanic Temple display at Iowa Capitol":
A Mississippi man who admitted to destroying a statue of the pagan idol Baphomet at the Iowa Capitol has been charged with a hate crime.

The statue was part of a display organized by the Satanic Temple of Iowa under state rules allowing religious displays in the Iowa Capitol during the holidays. The installation drew strong criticism from state and national leaders, including Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis. On Dec. 14, the centerpiece of the display, a figure depicting the horned deity Baphomet, was "destroyed beyond repair," according to the Satanic Temple of Iowa.
Michael Cassidy, a former congressional candidate from Mississippi, was charged the following day with fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor. The Lauderdale, Mississippi, man told the conservative website The Sentinel that "My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted."

Now, Polk County prosecutors have accused Cassidy of a more serious offense. A charging document made public Tuesday charges him with felony third-degree criminal mischief and notes that the act was committed "in violation of individual rights" under Iowa's hate crime statute.

"Evidence shows the defendant made statements to law enforcement and the public indicating he destroyed the property because of the victim’s religion," triggering the violation of individual rights enhancement, said Lynn Hicks, a spokesman for the Polk County Attorney's Office.
Polk County Attorney is Democrat Kimberly Graham.

"In her campaign for county attorney, she promised improvements in the juvenile justice system and much broader changes, including ending low-level marijuana prosecutions, no longer requiring cash bail for many nonviolent offenders, and addressing racial and income disparities in criminal prosecutions and sentencings," The Des Moines Register reported in Nov 2022.

"We started this campaign to end racial and income disparities in the justice system and create a healthy, safer, thriving Polk County, and so we will," Graham, who focused her campaign on fairness and equity, said at the time.

Letting thugs off easy and throwing the book at white Christians for cleaning up Satanic trash dumped in their state capitol is presumably how she's working to close the black-white arrest gap and bring about "equity."

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