Christian Veteran Who Destroyed Satanic Statue Gets Major Legal Update

Hate crime charges have been dropped against Michael Cassidy, a veteran who destroyed a satanic statue that was on display outside the Iowa state Capitol Building, as part of a plea deal.

Cassidy, who was narrowly defeated in a congressional primary against U.S. Rep. Michael Guest (R-MS) in 2022, pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge. In exchange, prosecutors dropped the felony hate crime charge he was facing.

“I saw this blasphemous statue and was outrage,” Cassidy said. “My conscience is held captive to the word of God, not to bureaucratic decree. And so I acted.”

Cassidy had raised more than $125,000 for his legal defense through the crowdfunding site GiveSendGo after prosecutors charged him with vandalism-related offenses. In January, Polk County prosecutors announced that Cassidy would be facing charges of third-degree-criminal mischief, while the act would be classified  as a “hate crime” under Iowa law.

 

The news generated outrage from conservative leaders, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, and former President Donald Trump.

As part of his plea agreement, Cassidy will receive a deferred judgment with two years probation, an $855 civil penalty, and be ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined. He will also be required to participate in a victim-offender dialogue with representatives of the Satanic Temple if requested.

 

 

The sentencing recommendation is not binding on the court, however, according to a report from the Associated Press.

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