An Illinois man has been arrested for vandalizing the Winnebago County Republican Headquarters over the weekend by spray painting the words “rape” and “shame” and the date Christine Blasey Ford testified before U.S. senators concerning an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
NBC affiliate WREX reported on Tuesday that Timothy Damm, 42, of Rockford, Illinois, was charged with criminal defacement of property. According to WQAD, he was also charged with resisting a peace officer and if convicted, he could face up to four years in prison.
“Rape” was spray painted all over the GOP headquarters in Rockford, along with the word “shame” and “9/27/18,” the date Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the alleged sexual assault she said took place in the summer of 1982, when she and Kavanaugh were in high school.
“It is never, never, an excuse to use senseless commission of crimes to advance a message or a cause,” Winnebago County States Attorney Joe Bruscato stated at a press conference on Tuesday.
VANDALISM ARREST: An arrest has been made after the Winnebago County Republican headquarters was vandalized over the weekend. https://t.co/VKzJBlxweU
— 13WREX (@13WREX) October 2, 2018
The vandalism was discovered on Sunday morning.
WTVO reported that the owners of the building — which also houses several law offices — said they have never experienced a similar instance of vandalism since acquiring the property in 2006.
GOP state Sen. Dave Syverson told WREX he sees the attack on the headquarters as a result of Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s behavior during the Kavanaugh hearings.
“These are the unintended consequences when you take politics to a level that she did,” he said.
Feinstein, the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, reportedly first received a letter detailing Ford’s allegation in late July, but held onto it, not asking Kavanaugh about the matter during a private meeting with him, nor during his primary confirmation hearing.
Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney released a statement, which read in part: “This is not who we are. I am extremely disappointed in the individual responsible for the ugliness at our local Republican HQ. Clearly, this person needs help.
“As a Republican, I am saddened and angry. I am also sad to see other folks in my party unfairly labeled and mischaracterized. Negative generalizations about a group of people has (sic) never served us well as a country. This situation is no different. Attacks of this nature aim to silence and destroy, neither of which will occur,” Haney said.
Rockford Democratic Mayor Tom McNamara also posted a statement on Facebook: “This type of behavior is unacceptable and certainly does not live up to our community’s values. We all have differences, but we must learn to disagree on policy without attacking people.
“I’ve also directed our Public Works staff to have this graffiti removed immediately,” McNamara added.
Damm has posted bond and is slated to appear in court on Oct. 11.
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