Charges Dropped Against Woman Who Damaged Satanic Temple’s Holiday Display

Susan Hemeryck (Photo: Leon County Jail)
Susan Hemeryck
(Photo: Leon County Jail)

Susan Hemeryck said she was just acting as a “devout Catholic.”

Prosecutors dropped charges of criminal mischief Friday against a Tallahassee woman who was accused of damaging a holiday display of the Satanic Temple.

Susan Hemeryck was arrested just before Christmas after she attempted to remove a display placed by the religious group in the rotunda of the Florida Capitol.

The diorama depicted a Biblical scene with an angel falling into a pit of fire accompanied by the words “Happy Holidays from the Satanic Temple.”

Prosecutors with the state attorney’s office cited a lack of evidence that the display was damaged and dropped the charges even after a jury had been selected.

Hemeryck picked up the display and attempted to carry it out of the Capitol before police stopped her Dec. 23 –the day after it was set up.

“The defendant is simply carrying the display,” court records say. “No damages are apparent—it is simply disassembled.”

The Satanic Temple was allowed access to the rotunda after being denied in 2013 when state officials that review applications for displays deemed it “grossly offensive.”

A Facebook photo posted by Temple member John Porgal after the display had been set back up showed little damage, court records say.

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SOURCE: Tallahassee Democrat
Karl Etters

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