Man pleads guilty to vandalizing Tennessee Islamic Center

May 10, 2018

Islamic Center of Murfreesboro
Credit ICOM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a 20-year-old man has pleaded guilty to vandalizing a Tennessee Islamic Center with profane references to Allah in spray-paint and strips of bacon left at an entrance last July.

Charles Dwight Stout III was initially charged with civil rights violations.

U.S. Attorney Donald Cochran said Stout now faces a year of supervision and must pay for the damage after pleading guilty to conspiracy and to causing damage to religious property because of its religious character.

Stout and a co-defendant, Thomas Gibbs, apologized to the congregation in Murfreesboro. Stout asked for forgiveness and said he wouldn't want anyone to do that to his church.

A spokesman for the center said Islam teaches forgiveness, and it's better to forgive and correct than condemn and punish.