News Flash

MCAO Latest News

Posted on: July 19, 2018

County Attorney and Islamic Community Center Respond to Reports on Mosque Burglary Case

PHOENIX— In light of recent media coverage, initiated by a spurious article from the Southern Poverty Law Center, on the case of Tahnee Gonzalez and Elizabeth Dauenhauer, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Tempe Islamic Community Center (ICC) spokesperson, Kristy Sabbah issued the following response.

“My Office places a high emphasis on acting as a partner with our community—building and strengthening relationships with all who reside in our County,” said County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Since the incident in March, I initiated contact with Imam Shqeirat, the staff and members of the Islamic Community Center and met with them on April 4 at the mosque to foster communication and understanding with their membership and leaders.

“It has been a priority for me and my Office to ensure that we have open communication and understanding so that the ICC and its members know they have input and participation in the prosecution of this case, as does any victim of crime. We sought to strengthen our relationship with this community to maintain mutual understanding and trust.

“To assert that this case is being handled in an unusual manner is irresponsible and provocative. Over the course of my years as County Attorney, there have been multiple instances where I have been directly involved in working out a just resolution to cases. The fact that I have chosen to not publicize those instances is to ensure that the emphasis remains on the pursuit of justice and not the pursuit of publicity. As a matter of policy, I am apprised of actions and potential offers in most high profile matters that come to this Office. This case is no exception.”

“The Islamic Community Center of Tempe is a welcoming community,” said ICC Spokesperson, Kristy Sabbah. “We open our doors to those of other faiths unfailingly. To see these women coming to the mosque with their children and saying such comments filled with hate and instilling such hate in their children was heartrending. With that being said, we're a forgiving community. We have been in close contact with Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and his office from the beginning. We are aware of the talks of a plea agreement. We would like to see some good come from this heinous attack. We are open to offering an informational and educational session to these two women, their children, and the community at large. We would also like to see community service hours served here at the Islamic Community Center in lieu of a restitution settlement."

On March 4, 2018, the two women filmed themselves entering the Islamic Community Center and while there used racial slurs and committed burglary. The case is in settlement negotiations including all parties.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in MCAO Latest News

Prosecutor

What is a Prosecutor?

Posted on: June 25, 2020
Man Vaping

Vaping Warning Signs for Parents

Posted on: June 18, 2020
Opioids

Help Prevent Opioid Abuse at Home

Posted on: June 16, 2020
Sunset Over Canal and Homes

Keep Your Home Safe this Summer

Posted on: June 4, 2020
Looking through a car windshield at night. The lights are blurred.

Don’t Graduate into a DUI

Posted on: May 19, 2020
Happy Mothers Day

Honoring MCAO Moms

Posted on: May 8, 2020
COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams

Stimulus Check Scams

Posted on: May 7, 2020
National Law Day 2020

It’s National Law Day

Posted on: May 1, 2020
Angela Andrews

Collaboration is Key

Posted on: April 30, 2020
Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Posted on: April 24, 2020
Heather Kirka

Charging Ahead and Working Together

Posted on: April 23, 2020
Census form on flag

We All Benefit When We Respond

Posted on: April 16, 2020
Brittany Hogard

Keeping the Wheels of Justice Rolling

Posted on: April 15, 2020
Person typing on computer keyboard

Be a Smart Online User

Posted on: April 13, 2020
Avoid Coronavirus Scams

COVID-19 Scam Awareness

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Community Outreach Highlights

Posted on: March 1, 2020
Allister with Female Staff

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Posted on: March 1, 2020
2020 Census Advertisement - Shape your Future, Start Here

YOU Count: Fill Out the Census Today

Posted on: March 1, 2020

Update On Petersen Investigation

Posted on: December 11, 2019

MCAO Honors Our Veterans

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Dion Earl Found Guilty on All Charges

Posted on: August 22, 2019

MCAO Launches Community Grants Webpage

Posted on: August 12, 2016

Update on Green Acre Dog Boarding Deaths

Posted on: September 22, 2014

National Geographic - Taboo

Posted on: August 31, 2012