MEMPHIS, TN- (WMC-TV) - A Jackson man is indicted on a federal civil rights charge for defacing a Torah and other religious prayer books used by Memphis' Margolin Hebrew Academy.
Justin Shawn Baker, 25, allegedly damaged religious books Margolin Hebrew Academy students were using for a worship service conducted at the Doubletree Hotel in Jackson in January.
"Freedom to practice one's religion without prejudice is one of the bedrock principles upon which our nation was founded," said United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Edward L. Stanton III in a press release. "Criminal acts such as those alleged in the indictment represent an attack upon the rights that generations of Americans have fought and died to ensure and protect. Our dedicated civil rights unit will continue to protect and defend the rights of our citizens through vigorous enforcement of federal law."