Michael Cassidy, the man who beheaded the Satanic idol in the Iowa Capitol building, has been charged with a hate crime.

Cassidy, a former congressional candidate from Mississippi, was charged with a misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal mischief after he destroyed the statue.

Now, Polk County prosecutors have charged Cassidy with a more serious offense.

The Post Millennial explains:

Polk County prosecutors charged Cassidy with felony third-degree criminal mischief, saying that he acted “in violation of individual rights” under Iowa’s hate crime statue, the Des Moines Register reports.

Cassidy had been charged with a misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal mischief the day after the beheading but had been informed that he may be liable for further charges.

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Spokesman for the Polk County Attorney’s Office Lynn Hicks said that “Evidence shows the defendant made statements to law enforcement and the public indicating he destroyed the property because of the victim’s religion.” This is what resulted in the hate crimes charge.

Hicks further elaborated on how much it would cost to replace the statue of Baphomet constructed by the Satanic Temple, which would be between $750 and $1,500. The extremely litigious Satanic Temple had filed their own damage estimate, saying that it would be $3,000 to replace the statue.

Cassidy previously spoke with Jack Posobiec to tell his story.

UPDATE: Man Who Destroyed The Satanic Idol At Iowa Capitol Building Speaks Out

“When I saw it in person, I knew it had to go down," he said.

“I saw it. I couldn’t believe it. A statue to Satan in our government, a capitol building…The devil is real. It struck me as wrong. I assumed the people who put it would say they made a mistake.. I saw on Wednesday, the statue icon was there..It really was this simple, it was wrong. It shouldn’t be there. Satan should not be praised in government. God is good. Satan is bad. I bought a ticket to Iowa. I had no true plan exactly what was going to happen… I prayed on it. The next morning, I got up. I went to the capitol. I didn’t know what to expect. I got there and no one was there. Seeing it in person, that statue, man. It was different seeing it in person. It clarified how evil it was. Actually seeing it in person. It made me realize that, yes, it had to come down..After I did what I did. I went back to security. I said hey remember me. This is what I did. In the end, they gave me a citation and I went on my way."

WATCH:

From the Associated Press:

Cassidy’s attorney, Sara Pasquale, declined to comment on the new charge. In previous court filings, she has accused the Satanic Temple of making filings that “are only meant to evoke strong emotions and incite others.”

Cassidy is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 15. He has raised more than $84,000 for his defense from nearly 2,000 supporters, according to the fundraising site GiveSendGo.

Founded in 2013, the Salem, Massachusetts-based Satanic Temple says it doesn’t believe in Satan but describes itself as a “non-theistic religious organization” that advocates for secularism. It is separate from the Church of Satan, which was founded in the 1960s.

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