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If you saw the headline and clicked in to read because you thought there’s no way that can be true…
This story is real folks.
And it’s not like someone died in the fire or there were other aggravating circumstances.
Nope, it’s basically because it was deemed a “hate crime”.
Check it out right here:
The Des Moines Register has confirmed the story:
An Ames man was sentenced Wednesday to about 16 years in prison after he set fire to a church LGBTQ flag in June.
Adolfo Martinez, 30, of Ames, last month was found guilty of a hate crime — a class "D" felony — third-degree harassment and reckless use of fire. Police said he stole a pride banner hanging at Ames United Church of Christ, 217 6th St., and burned it early June 11 outside Dangerous Curves Gentleman’s Club, 111 5th St.
Martinez admitted to police that he lit the banner on fire with lighter fluid and a lighter after stealing it from the church, according to court documents.Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said hate crime charges were added because Martinez is suspected of criminal mischief against someone's property because of "what it represents as far as sexual orientation."
So did the Washington Times:
An Iowa man who was found guilty of lighting a local church’s LGBTQ flag on fire was sentenced to more than 16 years in prison Wednesday.
Adolfo Martinez, 30, was found guilty last month of a hate crime, third-degree harassment and reckless use of fire after admitting to police in June that he stole a pride banner hanging outside the Ames United Church of Christ and set it on fire using lighter fluid about two blocks away outside the Dangerous Curves Gentleman’s Club, The Des Moines Register reported.
Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said in June that the hate crime charge was added because Mr. Martinez targeted the church’s property because of “what it represents as far as sexual orientation.”
Mr. Martinez was sentenced to 15 years for the hate crime charge, one year for reckless use of fire and 30 days for harassment, all of which will be served consecutively, the Associated Press reported.