2 men face federal charges in vandalism at Islamic center

AP News
Posted: Sep 29, 2017 2:26 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two men accused of spray-painting profane references to Allah on a Tennessee Islamic center and placing bacon around an entrance are facing federal charges.

The U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI said in a joint statement Friday that 19-year-old Charles Dwight Stout III and 18-year-old Thomas Avery Gibbs were indicted on charges of conspiracy and committing a civil rights violation by damaging and defacing the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

The statement says they are accused of trying to conceal their identities while defacing the property, with Stout allegedly wearing a World War II-era Nazi gas mask.

According to court records, both pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Nashville.

Members of the Islamic center found the vandalism on July 10 when they arrived for morning prayer.