Man Pleads Guilty to Vandalizing Mosque

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2011  |  Updated 11:23 PM CDT
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A 34-year-old man has pleaded guilty to vandalizing an <a title=Arlington mosque last summer." />

Scott Gordon, NBCDFW.com

A 34-year-old man has pleaded guilty to vandalizing an Arlington mosque last summer.

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A 34-year-old man has pleaded guilty to vandalizing an Arlington mosque last summer.

Henry Clay Glaspell pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Fort Worth to a hate-crime count of destroying religious property by setting fire to playground equipment at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Center in south Arlington in July.

He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison. His sentencing is set for July 11.

At the plea hearing, Glaspell admitted to the arson and other acts of anti-Islamic vandalism and harassment.

Tarrant County Muslim community spokesman Jamal Qaddura said a surveillance video showed Glaspell spray-painting obscene graffiti and setting fire to the wooden playground equipment last July.

"I can't imagine what motivates a human being to do this to another human being," Qaddura said. "I mean, we never saw him before."

Qaddura said he considers the case closed with Glaspell's guilty plea.

"We forgive him, and we pray for him to find peace within himself," he said.

Glaspell's home telephone has been disconnected. A message left with his attorney, federal public defender William Hermesmeyer of Fort Worth, wasn't returned.

NBC DFW's Scott Gordon contributed to this report.

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