Veteran Who Decapitated Satan Statue Charged With Hate Crime


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A man who admitted to dismantling a statue of Satan in Iowa’s Statehouse on Dec. 15 was charged with a hate crime, KCGI reported Tuesday.

Veteran Michael Cassidy of Lauderdale, Mississippi, was charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief after he admitted to damaging a display erected by the Satanic Temple in the Iowa Capitol. Despite being released shortly after his arrest, Cassidy was later charged with a hate crime because the damage he caused allegedly cost between $750 and $1,500, and the act was committed “in violation of individual rights” in the state, according to KCCI.

The pieces of evidence reportedly combine into a potential 3rd-degree criminal mischief charge, a Class D felony. If found guilty, Cassidy could face a fine of up to $7,500 and a prison sentence of up to five years.

“Like many Iowans, I find the Satanic Temple’s display in the Capitol absolutely objectionable,” Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said following the incident. “In a free society, the best response to objectionable speech is more speech, and I encourage all those of faith to join me today in praying over the Capitol and recognizing the nativity scene that will be on display — the true reason for the season.” (RELATED: UFO Investigations Halted Over Fears Of ‘Demonic Forces,’ Former Defense Minister Claims)

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis offered to “chip in” to cover Cassidy’s legal fees, noting that “Satan has no place in our society and should not be recognized as a ‘religion’ by the federal government.”

Cassidy’s next hearing is on Feb. 15.