Philly Jesus Found Guilty of Trespassing Inside Apple Store

But hallelujah: He's appealing!

Philly Jesus outside City Hall in 2016. Photograph by Victor Fiorillo

Philly Jesus outside City Hall in April 2015. Photograph by Victor Fiorillo

Michael Grant — the man known to most as Philly Jesus — showed up in Municipal Court on Wednesday to face charges stemming from an incident that occurred inside the Walnut Street Apple Store in May. The result: Grant was found guilty of trespassing and sentenced to three months of probation.

According to the Inquirer, an Apple Store employee testified that Grant’s ubiquitous cross was blocking an aisle and that Grant became “very aggressive” when asked to leave the store.

Municipal Court Judge Craig Washington found Grant not guilty of disorderly conduct. Both charges were third-degree misdemeanors, carrying with them the possibility of as much as one year in jail. In addition to the probation, he owes $576 in court costs. Grant wore his standard Jesus garb to court.

Grant previously refused a plea deal offered by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, although he declined to explain why.

Last week, Grant told us that his defense would be “freedom of religion” and that there was video of the incident that would set him free. Later, his lawyer told us that they had no such video, and the Apple employee testified that no video of the incident existed.

At Wednesday’s trial, Grant’s attorney, Brian Zeiger, explained that Grant thought he was being asked to leave because of his religious beliefs.

“Love your haters, love your enemies, pray for them, and bless up,” Grant told reporters after the trial. “Never will I stop. As I age, I will age into Philly Moses.”

Grant and Zeiger indicated that they intend to appeal. Grant added that he wanted to testify but that Zeiger advised him against it.

Grant, 29, is familiar with the probation system in Philadelphia. He was sentenced to one year of probation in 2009 after pleading guilty to a drug charge. (Grant is a recovering heroin addict.) He received the same punishment in 2014 in a fraud case.

Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.