Mississippi man charged with third-degree criminal mischief in violation of individual rights
Published 1/30/2024 4:32:38 PM
Michael P. Cassidy of Lauderdale, Miss., has been charged with third-degree criminal mischief in violation of individual rights, a class D felony, for intentionally damaging a statue owned by the Satanic Temple of Iowa.
Mr. Cassidy dismantled the Baphomet Altar on Dec. 14 at the Iowa State Capitol and destroyed the headpiece, according to an Iowa State Patrol report.
Based on information from the victims, the cost to replace or repair the property is between $750 and $1,500. That amount would make the offense third-degree criminal mischief, an aggravated misdemeanor, according to Iowa Code Section 716.5.
In addition, evidence shows the defendant made statements to law enforcement and the public indicating he destroyed the property because of the victim’s religion. That enhances the charge to third-degree criminal mischief in violation of individual rights, a class D felony, according to Iowa Code Section 729A.2.
Mr. Cassidy faces arraignment on Feb. 15.
The Polk County Attorney's Office seeks fair and just resolutions of all cases, as we continue to apply the law equally to all, regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation, or economic status.