Judge in Dearborn considers trial for 4 missionaries

A judge wants to review more information before deciding whether to dismiss charges against four missionaries accused of inciting a crowd while videotaping themselves evangelizing at the Dearborn Arab International Festival in June.

Judge Marks Somers of 19th District Court in Dearborn heard arguments Monday after Robert Muise, attorney for the missionaries, filed a motion questioning the constitutionality of the charges. If the motion is denied, a trial is to be held Sept. 20.

“My clients should not stand trial for exercising their First Amendment rights,” Muise said.

Nabeel Qureshi of Virginia, Negeen Mayel of California and Paul Rezkalla and David Wood, both of New York, were charged in July with disorderly conduct after police said they received a complaint from a Christian volunteer working at the festival who said he was harassed by the group. Mayel also was charged with failure to obey a police officer’s order.

The missionaries, members of a Christian group called Acts 17 Apologetics, said they did not harass anyone.


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This post was last updated: Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 1:00 PM, Central European Time (CET)