Charges Dropped in Disturbance of Satanic Holiday Display

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By: Associated Press
March 20, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Prosecutors have dropped charges against a woman accused of damaging a Satanic holiday display at the Florida Capitol.

The State Attorney's Office filed court papers Friday to dismiss a criminal-mischief charge against 55-year-old Susan Hemeryck. Trial had been scheduled to begin Monday.

A display showing an angel falling into a pit of fire -- along with the words, "Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple" -- went up Dec. 22. Surveillance video shows Hemeryck grabbing it and walking away with it the next day, but prosecutors said there was no evidence of damage.

The Department of Management Services rejected the Satanic Temple's display in 2013, saying it was "grossly offensive."

The state allowed it last year, following threats of legal action from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
January 29, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-- Court records show a Tallahassee woman accused of damaging the Satanic Temple display at Florida's capitol pleaded not guilty in court this morning.

54-year-old Susan Hemeryck is facing misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief.

Capitol Police say Hemeryck walked into the capitol and vandalized the Satanic Temple display, which replaced a nativity scene, two days before Christmas.

When Capitol Police stopped her and returned the display, Hemeryck says she ripped the fallen angel out of it.

"We are not sure there was a crime," Hemeryck's attorney Mike Bauer said. "I think this case represents the state basically putting an attack on Christians. That would be her viewpoint."

Hemeryck will have her next court appearance on March 4th.



 
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