Evangelist Released after 'Hate Speech' Arrest

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A Christian evangelist has been released after being arrested in Scotland for alleged homophobic "hate speech."

Police arrested street preacher Tony Miano while he was on a one-week missions trip in January. Months later, they've decided to drop all charges.

Former Los Angeles Deputy Sheriff Tony Miano took early retirement to become a full-time evangelist.

Like Scottish authorities, London police had also arrested him earlier on similar charges, saying he was arrested on suspicion of offenses under the Public Order Act, accused of making homophobic comments.

"They asked me what I was preaching about, and if I had talked about homosexuality. I said that I did. They continued their investigation, and at about 4:20 p.m., I was arrested for what they told me was homophobic hate speech," Miano explained.

"Okay, we're arresting you, Section 5, Public Order. This is because people have been offended by what you said," he said the police replied.

Fortunately, Miano's attorney secured his release with no charge. An investigator came into his cell the same day in London with good news.

"What he said amazed me, and I knew it was the hand of God. He said that the inspector has decided to release you with no further action," Miano recalled.

In Dundee, Scotland, it took several months after his arrest under "hate crime" legislation, but police dropped all charges as well.

Miano told authorities in Scotland they could see his preaching on video to prove he had done nothing wrong and his message was one of hope in Jesus Christ.
   
The evangelist said after watching the video, prosecutors found nothing in his preaching that constituted "hate speech."

Miano said while he no longer faces trial, the matter isn't over. He's seeking advice on whether to pursue legal action in Scotland's civil courts against the police.

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Mark Martin is a reporter and anchor at CBN News, covering various issues from military matters to alternative fuels. Mark has reported internationally in the Middle East and traveled to Bahrain to cover stories on the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkMartinCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/MarkMartinCBN.