A Gaston County inmate is being accused of committing “a sex act” with a copy of the Quran while behind bars, sparking outrage in the Muslim community.
Jonathan Ross Compton, 35, was charged around 4 a.m. Friday with ethnic intimidation, jail records show. The incident happened about 2 a.m. Friday, while he was in the Gaston County Jail on a felony charge for failing to appear, records show.
Abdur Abdulkhafid, a Muslim, told deputies that Compton ejaculated into Abdulkhafid’s copy of the Quran, while the two men were being held in the same cell, jail officials said.
After “damaging and defacing” the religious text of Islam, Compton called 39-year-old Abdulkhafid by a racial slur often used to denigrate black people, officials said. It could also be used as an anti-gay slur, they said. Neither of the men sustained injuries during the incident.
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Jail policies allow inmates to have copies of religious texts with them in their cells, officials said.
Abdulkhafid was booked into the jail on Nov. 2, on charges of violating a domestic violence protection order and simple assault, reported the Gaston Gazette.
Compton remained an inmate at the Gaston County Jail on Friday, and his bond was raised by $5,000, bringing it to $15,000 in total.
Gaston County Jail records show it is the seventh time Compton has been arrested in Gaston County in the past two years. The charges range from larceny to breaking and entering.
Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Friday that he hopes law enforcement in Gaston County will treat the case no differently than a hate crime committed outside of jail walls.
“It’s the same kind of act, and should be treated the same for someone whose is an inmate as it would be for someone who was attending a mosque during daily life,” Hooper said. “We hope they (deputies) are taking it seriously and it will be moved through the legal system and the alleged perpetrator is punished.”