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Man who damaged Satanic statue in Iowa Capitol raises $20,000 for defense

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(The Center Square) – A man who damaged a Satanic statue in the Iowa Capitol building said he raised $20,000 for his defense after he was criminally charged.

Michael Cassidy, a former candidate for the Mississippi House of Representatives, is charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief for tearing down the statue placed there by the Satanic Temple Iowa, according to KCCI. He closed the defense fund after it reached $20,000 but reopened it Friday afternoon, saying he had learned additional charges could be filed against him.

The statue is destroyed, temple officials said on Facebook.

Florida Gov. and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis and talk show host Erick Erickson said they would help with the defense fund. Turning Point USA donated $10,000, according to a social media post from its founder, Charlie Kirk.

DeSantis made the statue a campaign issue, blaming former President Donald Trump for allowing the statue to be in the Capitol during a town hall meeting on CNN earlier this week.

“Lo and behold, the Trump administration gave them approval to be under the IRS as a religion,” DeSantis said.

The statue drew ire from state lawmakers, with one calling for its removal.

“For those who wish to worship Satan, they are free to do so on their private property,” Rep. Brad Sherman, R-Williamsburg said in his newsletter. “But to allow satanic expression in the State Capitol and other public property is to surrender to Satan’s demands for equality with God which was his original sin: ‘I will be like the Most High’ (see Isaiah 14:14).”

Gov. Kim Reynolds said she found the statue “absolutely objectionable but did not call for its removal in a statement issued on Tuesday.

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