Charges Dropped In Disturbance Of Satanic Holiday Display

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — The woman accused of damaging a Satanic holiday display at the Florida Capitol has had her charges dropped.

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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