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Charges dismissed against CofC student accused of defacing Islamic Center

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The 9th Circuit Solicitor's Office dismissed charges June 15 against Hailey Elizabeth Riddle, a College of Charleston student accused of vandalizing the Islamic Center of Charleston last spring. 

Riddle was charged with one count of malicious injury to a place of worship, a felony, on allegations she spray-painted "utterlly blessed" in pink and blue Jan. 29 on the side of the mosque. 

Scott Bischoff, Riddle's attorney, said his artistically inclined client did not know she had defaced a religious building.

Bischoff said Riddle passed a polygraph test averring to that fact. 

"It was not a hate crime, as first feared," he said. "It was a young person making a mistake." 

With the blessing of the mosque's imam and the prosecutor, Riddle was permitted to enter a six-month pretrial-intervention program, Bischoff said. The program allows first-time offenders charged with nonviolent offenses to perform community service and attend counseling. If the defendant successfully completes the program, the charges are dismissed. 

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson declined to comment on the case. 

Casey Logan Delre, 21, also faces charges on allegations he defaced the mosque last spring. His case remains pending, according to court records.

Reach Steve Garrison 843-607-1052. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT.

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