CRIME
03/26/2018 06:50 pm ET Updated Mar 27, 2018

Two Women Who Broadcast Islamophobic Mosque Visit With Children Are Indicted

The women were charged with third-degree burglary and aggravated criminal damage.

Two Arizona women face charges after filming themselves trespassing and vandalizing a mosque earlier this month alongside three children, according to court records released Monday.

Tahnee Gonzales and Elizabeth Dauenhauer, who were formally charged last week, are both facing charges of third-degree burglary and aggravated criminal damage, both felonies, court records show. Gonzales also faces three misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and one misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.  

As Huffpost previously reported, the two women were arrested and booked into the Tempe City Jail on March 15 after their Facebook Live footage prompted local police to launch an investigation. Both women were released from jail without being required to post bail. Instead, they are required to wear electronic monitors and are prohibited from possessing any weapons, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center

The women are scheduled to be in court in Mesa, Arizona, for a court-ordered meeting on March 29, followed by a preliminary hearing on April 5.

In a series of videos posted to Facebook that have since been taken down, the women can be seen circling the Islamic Community Center of Tempe while spewing hateful comments, entering the mosque’s gated playground despite the “no trespassing” signs, and tearing down flyers from a billboard ― all while encouraging the children to do the same.

“Be careful, because Muslims are waiting to rape you,” one of the children can be heard telling the others in the video.

The children can then be seen climbing on the mosque’s funeral van while one of the women warns them about the “dead Muslims” and “sex goats” that she claims were stored in the truck. 

The brazen theft of the flyers, coupled with the racist disinformation that the young children in the video could be heard repeating, has alarmed the Muslim community in Arizona ― though it does not come as a shock. Islamophobia and aggression against mosques are at an all-time high in the United States.

A hate crime will also be considered during sentencing, Det. Liliana Duran of the Tempe Police Department told HuffPost at the time of the arrest. 

CONVERSATIONS