Missouri Man facing hate crime and arson charges indicted by grand jury

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This Friday, April 24, 2020 photo shows damage to the Islamic Center of Cape Girardeau, Mo. after a fire. The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone connected to a fire that badly damaged the center in southeast Missouri. Fire broke out early Friday at the Islamic Center of Cape Girardeau. About 12 to 15 people were evacuated and escaped injury. (Jacob Wiegand/The Southeast Missourian via AP)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.– A federal grand jury has indicted 42-year-old Nicholas Proffitt with charges related to a fire that happened back on April 24, 2020, at the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center.

According to the United States Department of Justice, the indictment has charged Proffitt with the following:

  • Damaging religious property because of the property’s religious character
  • Using fire to commit a federal felony
  • Damaging a building used in interstate commerce through the use of fire

The charges follow a mutli-agency investigation by the Cape Girardeau Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Missouri State Fire Marshal Office, the Perryville Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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