Defendant sentenced to 16 years in prison for attacking Islamic Center

Defendant sentenced to 16 years in prison for attacking Islamic Center

John Proffitt also receives 3 years of supervised release

By Esra Tekin

ISTANBUL (AA) - A man from the US state of Missouri was sentenced to 16 years in prison after he confessed to setting fire to an Islamic Center, according to the Justice Department.

John Proffitt tried to set fire to the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center on the first day of Ramadan in 2020, according to the statement Wednesday. The fire resulted in substantial harm to the front entrance and second floor of the facility.

Proffitt, 44, also received three years of supervised release and was directed to pay $551,217.91 in restitution.

“Attacks on mosques in our country are attacks on people of faith that undermine the fundamental right to practice one’s religion free from fear or violence,” said an attorney from agency’s Civil Right’s division.

"This is the third time Nicholas Proffitt has attacked Islamic institutions, in Missouri and elsewhere," said an attorney from the state.

“He has now been sentenced to a significant prison term that will protect the community from further persecution for a long time,” added another attorney.

“Proffitt destroyed a religious building, but he couldn’t take away the constitutional right to religious freedom,” said an FBI agent, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

Proffitt, had previously admitted guilt Dec. 12, 2022, to using fire to cause harm to religious property and for employing fire during the commission of a federal felony.

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