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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Former Springfield Man Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Defacing Islamic Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former Springfield, Mo., man has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in federal court for defacing The Islamic Center of Springfield with graffiti.

 

Joshua Daniel Lobsien, 24, of Orland, Calif., formerly of Springfield, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, to a federal information that charges him with defacing religious property.

 

The court sentenced Lobsien to five years of probation, including 20 hours of community service, and ordered him to pay $5,220 in restitution. If the Islamic Center of Springfield, or an Islamic Center located near Lobsien’s residence, is willing to have him perform his community service on its premises, then that is the location where Lobsien should perform his community service. Lobsien has personally apologized to the leadership of the Islamic Center of Springfield for his crime.

 

By pleading guilty, Lobsien admitted that he and Adam David Smock, 24, of Edgewater, Calif., formerly of Springfield, and a minor who was 14 years of age, spray painted graffiti on the exterior walls of the Islamic Center of Springfield on Jan. 7, 2011. The graffiti included explicit and offensive language in addition to such statements as “Queer insurrection,” “It’s okay to be gay!” “Bash Back,” “Now is our time!” and “You bash us in Pakistan we bash here.” Both Lobsien and Smock were 18 years old at the time of the offense.

 

The Islamic Center of Springfield, 2151 E. Division St., provides services common to most religious establishments, including regular prayer service, a venue for individuals to pray on their own, community activities and a forum for charitable fund-raising.

 

Lobsien also admitted that on April 10, 2011, they partially burned two copies of the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book) and transported the Qur’ans to the Islamic Center of Springfield. Smock left the burned Qur’ans directly in front of the main doors to the Islamic Center, approximately 30 feet away from the building. Lobsien left a computer-printed note on the mat in front of the main doors. The note contained the image of a goat’s or ram’s head, and the following text:

 

“To: Sincere Followers of Allah,

“Today, we show the Muslim Nation that its oppressive religion won't go without a fight, not from soldiers, but from average citizens willing to fight for America – for there are three (sic) burned Qur'ans that lay spread in the driveway. For we grow tired of Anti-Zionism. The Islamification of Europe. Terroristic regimes. And worst of all, the membership of 1.5 billion Muslims that stain the earth. And we vow one thing: Islam will not survive.

“Death to Islam!”

 

Smock pleaded guilty on Dec. 29, 2015, to participating in a conspiracy to oppress, threaten, and intimidate worshippers at the Islamic Center of Springfield in the free exercise and enjoyment of their Constitutional right to the free exercise of their religious beliefs. A sentencing hearing is scheduled on Aug. 18, 2016.

 

Smock admitted that it was his idea to commit the acts and that he persuaded his co-conspirators to participate. Smock admitted that he selected the Islamic Center of Springfield for vandalism because of the religious nature of the property, in order to threaten and intimidate worshippers, so as to hinder and interfere with the worshippers’ enjoyment of their Constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.

 

The total cost of restoration and repair of the damage to the Islamic Center of Springfield, including sandblasting and applying anti-graffiti paint, is $15,662

 

Under the terms of Smock’s plea agreement, a joint recommendation will be made to the court that Smock be incarcerated for 14 days, followed by a five-year term of supervised release; that Smock must pay $10,440 in restitution; and that Smock must perform 40 hours of community service. If the Islamic Center of Springfield, or an Islamic Center located near Smock’s residence, is willing to have him perform his community service on its premises, then that is the location where Smock should perform his community service. Smock must meet with and personally apologize to the leadership of the Islamic Center of Springfield for his crime.

 

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. They were investigated by the FBI and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

Topic: 
Hate Crimes
Updated July 13, 2016