An Ohio man pleaded responsible yesterday to violating the Church Arson Prevention Act and to utilizing fireplace and explosives to commit against the law as a part of his plan to burn down a church that deliberate was to prepare drag exhibits.
Aimenn D. Penny, 20, of Alliance, made Molotov cocktails and drove to the Group Church of Chesterland on March 25.
The church deliberate to host two drag occasions the next weekend.
In line with a Division of Justice press launch, “Penny threw two Molotov cocktails on the church, hoping to burn it to the bottom. By Penny’s responsible plea, he admitted to utilizing violence by way of fireplace and explosives with the intent to intrude with CCC congregants’ enjoyment and expression of their spiritual beliefs.
“Makes an attempt to burn down the Group Church of Chesterland due to its help of the LGBTQI+ group are reprehensible,” stated Assistant Legal professional Normal Kristen Clarke of the Justice Division’s Civil Rights Division. “There is no such thing as a room for such bias-motivated violence and terror on this nation, and the Division of Justice will proceed to guard all Individuals of their free train of non secular beliefs by vigorously prosecuting those that goal locations of worship. Our church buildings ought to be protected havens for all individuals, not locations topic to violence motivated by hatred and vitriol.”
Assistant Legal professional Normal Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Division’s Nationwide Safety Division echoed Clarke’s sentiments, saying his plan violated “core American values of freedom of speech and worship.”
“Mr. Penny admitted that he tried to burn down a church as a result of he didn’t just like the congregation members expressing their spiritual beliefs,” Olsen stated. “Such acts of extremist violence are opposite to America’s core values of freedom of expression and worship, and we won’t tolerate those that search to make use of violence to disclaim our residents the free train of their rights.”
Penny now faces a most penalty of twenty years in jail for violating the Church Arson Prevention Act and a compulsory ten-year jail sentence to run consecutively with another jail sentence imposed for utilizing fireplace to commit a federal crime dedicated, the DOJ stated.
Penny’s sentencing is scheduled for January 29, 2024.