Hate Crime Charges Against Christian Veteran Who Beheaded Satanic Altar in Iowa Capital Have Been Dropped

Iowa prosecutors dropped hate crime charges against Michael Cassidy, the Christian veteran who beheaded a satanic altar in the Iowa capital over the holidays.

The altar to Baphomet was installed by the Satanic Temple, with approval from the Iowa Legislature. It featured a goat’s head on a red-caped mannequin holding a crimson pentagram wreath.

The display caused massive controversy, with some arguing that the approval of the shrine was crucial to religious freedom and others arguing that it was a deliberate move to torment Christians — especially as it was placed near a Nativity scene.

On December 14, Cassidy ripped the head off and threw it in a trashcan. He was subsequently charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief and felony third-degree criminal mischief committed “in violation of individual rights” under Iowa’s hate crime statute.

On Friday, prosecutors dropped the hate crime charges in exchange for him pleading guilty to third-degree criminal mischief, a lesser misdemeanor charge, his lawyers told The Sentinel.

Davis Younts, an attorney representing Cassidy, told The Sentinel that prosecutors “finally agreed to drop the hate crimes enhancement after months-long legal battles over every aspect of this case.”

“It is because of the people that came to his aid and an outstanding legal team that we were able to back the prosecutors into a corner and get this resolution,” Younts added. “Instead of a felony hate crime and jail time, Cassidy received deferred judgment for damage to property and the conviction will be expunged once the court process is complete. Forcing the prosecutors to drop the hate crime is a huge victory for Cassidy and for religious freedom.”


Thanks for sharing!