Somerset County Man Faces Federal Hate Crime Charges for Vandalism at Rutgers Islamic Center

Jacob Beacher, 24, accused of intentional destruction and theft during Eid-al-Fitr, faces federal court today.

In a significant legal development, Jacob Beacher, 24, from Somerset County, New Jersey, has been charged with a federal hate crime after allegedly breaking into the Center for Islamic Life at Rutgers University (CILRU) in New Brunswick, NJ, and causing substantial damage. The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, and NJ State Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin.

Beacher, who was arrested earlier today, faces accusations of obstructing religious practice and making false statements to federal authorities. His court appearance is scheduled for this afternoon with U.S. Magistrate Judge André M. Espinosa in Newark.

The incident, which took place on April 10 during the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, involved the destruction of several religious artifacts at CILRU, including Turbah prayer stones and items inscribed with verses from the Qur’an. Authorities also allege that Beacher stole a Palestinian flag and a charity donation box from the center.

The investigation was a collaborative effort involving multiple agencies, including the FBI, the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, and local police departments, highlighting the seriousness with which authorities are treating the case.

The charges against Beacher are currently only allegations, and he is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. The case is being prosecuted by a team including Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin, Deputy Chief R. Joseph Gribko, and Trial Attorney Daniel Grunert from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified