A US navy veteran who knocked over a satanic display in the Iowa state Capitol shortly before Christmas has been charged with felony mischief and a hate crime, the Christian Post reports.In December, Michael Cassidy, 35, travelled from Mississippi to Des Moines and toppled a red-cloaked statue of Baphomet where it stood near a Nativity scene.The statue had been erected by the Iowa chapter of The Satanic Temple. It stood in front of a candle-lit altar adorned with the seven "fundamental tenets" of the organization, which claims not to believe in a personal devil.Cassidy, a former Republican candidate for the Mississippi House of Representatives, threw the statue's silver ram's head in the trash, then turned himself in. Authorities issued him a citation for fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor.More recently, the Polk County Attorney's Office charged Cassidy with felony third-degree mischief and a hate crime under Iowa state law, according to a charging document made public Tuesday and reported by The Des Moines Register."Evidence shows the defendant made statements to law enforcement and the public indicating he destroyed the property because of the victim's religion," Lynn Hicks, a spokesman for the Polk County Attorney's Office, told the local outlet.Hicks said it will cost $750 to $1,500 to repair the Baphomet statue.Cassidy cited John 16:33 in a social media post the day after being charged."Thanks to everyone who’s been supportive, I truly appreciate it," he wrote. "It’s important to remember what Jesus said in John 16:33 '…In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'" A hate crime, as defined under the statute, includes criminal mischief "when committed against a person or a person's property because of the person's race, colour, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability, or the person's association with a person of a certain race, colour, religion, ancestry, national origin, political affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, age, or disability."Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham was elected top prosecutor in June 2022 after pledging to reduce incarceration rates by easing up on low-level crimes such as marijuana possession. The Democrat's campaign received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a George Soros-backed organization.Before it was destroyed, Christian state lawmakers disagreed on whether the Baphomet statue was legally protected.State Rep. Jon Dunwell, a Christian pastor, tweeted in a thread that he found the altar "objectionable" and "evil," but didn't think the government should arbitrate religious displays.In constrast, Iowa state Rep. Brad Sherman, also a pastor, said the display violated the Iowa State Constitution. He appealed to Iowa's Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds to take it down.Reynolds said in a statement at the time, "Like many Iowans, I find the Satanic Temple's display in the Capitol absolutely objectionable.""In a free society, the best response to objectionable speech is more speech and I encourage all those of faith to join me today in praying over the Capitol and recognizing the nativity scene that will be on display — the true reason for the season."Cassidy told The Christian Post in a December interview that Christians who believe the US Constitution protects a satanic display on government property were "overcomplicating" the issue."The people who wrote our Constitution would be shocked to think of defending Satan as consistent with their beliefs when they wrote the laws that govern our nation," he said."People start overcomplicating the truth, which is that God is great and should be honored, and the devil is evil and should not be honored," he said. "I think people are tying themselves in knots trying to justify it, and it's really a lot simpler than that."Cassidy said although legal arguments provide "a lot more intellectual heft" than he can, his moral argument is simple and straightforward."The devil is evil, and we should not pretend or act as if he is equal to a Nativity scene," he said.Cassidy's legal defence fund has blown away its fundraising goal of $20,000. As of February 1, 2706 donors had contributed $121,214.