Man pleads not guilty in Islamic center graffiti case

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Hilliard man accused of scrawling anti-Islamic graffiti on the front doors of a Columbus mosque last month pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday.

Todd Williams, 44, is charged with ethnic intimidation, criminal mischief and desecration.

Prosecutors say Williams was caught on surveillance cameras at the Ahlul-Bayt Society Islamic Center on West Dublin-Granville Road. He can be seen writing “Allah is a Fraud Dum Dums” and “Repent Turn to True God + Jesus Or Burn 4 Ever” on the glass doors of the building.

Attorney Brad Koffel said Williams is an electrical engineer with no prior criminal convictions. At Monday’s arraignment, Koffel said his client was entering a general plea of not guilty to the charges.

The ethnic intimidation charge is considered a hate crime under Ohio law. Prosecutors said they want to send a message with this case that desecration of places of worship will be dealt with harshly.

Williams remains free on bond. If convicted of all charges, he could face up to 17 months in prison.

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