Michael Cassidy, 35, was initially charged with a fourth-degree felony for allegedly destroying the exhibit, which featured a ram's head made of mirrors on a mannequin dressed in red in mid-December.
According to the Satanic Temple of Iowa, the display represented the congregation's 7 Principles, expressing religious freedom and equal opportunity for all religions celebrating the holidays.
"We have been informed by the authorities that the statue of Baphomet in our holiday display has been vandalized beyond repair. We are proud to continue our holiday display for the next few days allotted to us," the temple posted on social media.
Shortly after his arrest, Cassidy began raising money to cover his $20,000 legal defense fund from social media users who supported his actions at the Iowa State Capitol. So far, Cassidy has raised over $97,000 and counting.
While the damage to the exhibit is estimated at between $750 and $1,500, further investigation into the incident has upgraded Cassidy's offense to third-degree criminal mischief. Cassidy is scheduled to appear in court on February 15.
In 2022, Cassidy, a former Navy Reserve pilot with no prior political experience, ran an unsuccessful campaign against incumbent Representative Michael Guest in the Republican primary for Mississippi's 3rd Congressional District. Cassidy later ran for Mississippi's 45th District and lost to Democrat Keith Jackson in the 2023 general election.