Arlington Man Gets 14 Months in Prison for "Ethnically Motivated" Arson at Mosque

In February, you may recall, 34-year-old Henry Clay Glaspell walked into federal court in Fort Worth and admitted: He was the man who, on July 25, 2010, set fire to the playground equipment and spray-painted "explicit images" and "obscene anti-Muslim graffiti" in the parking lot at the Dar El-Eman Islamic Center on Mansfield Road in Arlington. There was more: "Glaspell further admitted that he stole and damaged mosque property," according to the feds, and "threw used cat litter at the front door of the mosque and shouted racial or ethnic slurs at individuals of Arab or Middle Eastern descent at the mosque on multiple occasions." Glaspell was arrested in August 2010 for what then-U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas James T. Jacks referred to as "despicable acts of hatred."

Glaspell was due to be sentenced earlier this summer. But U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means handed down his punishment yesterday, per a heads-up from the U.S. Attorney's Office that arrived last yesterday: He got 14 months in federal prison for what the feds describe as "a hate crime charge stemming from the ethnically motivated arson." Glaspell has been free on bond, and must report to the Bureau of Prisons by November 21.

Says newly installed U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña, "Religious freedom is one of our most cherished rights, and that right includes the ability to build places of worship and assemble, free from discrimination. This office will continue to prosecute those who commit such reprehensible acts of hatred."