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Update: Prosecutors Drop Hate Crime Charges Against Veteran Who Beheaded Satanic Statue

An incident involving an incident at the Iowa State Capitol building made national news with many Christians siding with a military veteran who faced hate-crime charges for his actions.

Michael Cassidy of Mississippi knocked the head from a Satanic statue on display at the Capitol in a move widely celebrated by those who believed such a monument should have been permitted in the first place.

He recently pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for having the hate-crime count dropped, as Fox News reported:

Michael Cassidy pleaded guilty to an aggravated misdemeanor count of third-degree criminal mischief, the Des Moines Register reported. He was slated to go to trial on June 3.

“As you’re likely aware, we have continually contested the hate crime and questioned whether Mr. Cassidy was being targeted due to his religious beliefs,” Cassidy’s attorney, Sara Pasquale, told Fox News Digital. “We are therefore very pleased that the state ultimately decided to drop the hate crime and are hopeful that this case will bring awareness to similar situations throughout the country.”

Cassidy admitted that he “partially dismantled a display in the Iowa State Capitol Building, “without a right/license to do so” of the statue of the horned deity Baphomet. The statue was brought to the state capitol by the Satanic Temple of Iowa.

It was destroyed beyond repair, the group said.

Although he did plead guilty, the terms of his deal with prosecutors was seen by his supporters as something of a victory.

The New York Post provided additional coverage of the update to this story:

Cassidy’s attorney Sara Pasquale told the Register that she was “pleased” the hate crime was dropped and hopes the case will bring attention to “similar situations throughout the country.”

“We have continually contested the hate crime and questioned whether Mr. Cassidy was being targeted due to his religious beliefs,” she said in a statement.

He was set for trial June 3 after the court denied a motion to dismiss the case, but his attorney filed a guilty plea Friday.

Under the terms of the agreement, he may be required to participate in a victim-offender dialogue with representatives of the Satanic Temple.

Here’s how Cassidy described his own actions during a Fox News Channel interview:


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