Arson Suspect Facing Federal Charges for Hate Crime

A Cape Girardeau man accused of setting fire to the Islamic Center on North West End Boulevard in Cape Girardeau is facing state and federal charges. On Wednesday, April 29, Nicholas John Proffitt, 42, was federally charged with arson. He was arrested at 6: 40 p.m. on April 27 in connection with a suspicious fire that occurred on Friday, April 24 at the Islamic Center. The suspect was charged with felony burglary in the first degree, felony arson in the first degree and property damage in the first degree – hate crime. If he is found guilty on all three charges, Proffitt could face a maximum of 37 years behind bars. Officials labeled the incident a hate crime, saying Proffitt was motivated by the religion of the people who worship at the facility.

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