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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Tennessee Man Gets Four Years On Civil Rights Charges Involving Torah Scrolls

Justin Baker

TN - A 25 year-old former security guard was sentenced to four years in federal prison on Monday after pleading guilty to civil rights intimidation and vandalism over $10K surrounding the theft and desecration of Jewish religious items, including some Torah scrolls. reports that Justin Baker, former employee for Maxx Guard security, pleaded guilty to the January 12, 2013 theft and destruction of the scrolls and other items that took place at the Double Tree Hotel in Jackson.

Baker was the overnight security guard charged with protecting the religious property which belonged to the Margolin Hebrew Academy, and which was slated to be used in Jewish religious services.

Among the items stolen were books, musical instruments, electronics and Torah scrolls.

Authorities said Baker marked, tore or damaged, and defiled the items.

Baker has also entered a guilty plea on additional federal charges of damage to religious property and obstruction of religious belief, and will be sentenced on those charges in March.

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