Missouri Man Indicted on Hate-Crime Charges in Islamic Center Fire
A man accused of setting fire to an Islamic center in Missouri during Ramadan because of its “religious character” has been indicted on hate-crime charges, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Tuesday. Nicholas J. Proffitt, 42, was arrested on April 30 for allegedly breaking in windows of the Cape Girardeau Islamic Center and setting the building on fire with flammable liquid on April 24. He was charged with first-degree burglary, arson, and property damage motivated by religious discrimination. The Islamic center shares the building with apartments and several families who lost everything in the fire, however no one was injured, the Islamic Center of Greater St. Louis said. Proffitt previously pleaded guilty in 2009 to state charges for damaging the same Islamic center and was sentenced to three years in prison.