The court sentenced him to 15 years in prison a man who stole from the Church, the LGBT flag and burned it near a strip club this summer in Ames, Iowa, writes the BBC.
30-year-old Adolfo Martinez admitted to reporters that he stole the flag out of hatred for gays.
He was convicted of a crime on grounds of hatred, and in the careless handling of fire and recidivism. Based on two recent articles, Martinez will spend in prison 16 years.
According to police, the incident occurred around midnight at the club Dangerous Curves, where visitors complained of threats from the men. When the school was approached by the guards, troublemaker ass out the door of the club.
After that, Martinez went to the local United Church of Christ and took out the flag. He then returned to the club and set fire to the flag on the street, using flammable liquid.
He also threatened to set fire to a local bar.
Immediately after his arrest, he pleaded guilty and told about the motives of their actions.
“I was honored to do it, it is a blessing from the Lord. I just burned their pride,” he said in an interview with KCCI-TV, which was used in court as evidence against him.
Pastor Eileen Gabby, openly declared about his homosexuality, said that he agreed with the conclusions of the investigation.
“I have always believed that Ames is not as progressive as many think, and there are still many hide their orientation,” she said in an interview with the Des Moines Register.
“12 strangers who are not related to me or to the ward, said that this person committed a crime that is motivated by intolerance and hatred,” said she.
The story County attorney Jessica Reynolds said that Martinez was the first person in the history of the County, who was found guilty of a crime motivated by hatred.
“The reality is that there are people who commit crimes against other people because of their race, gender or sexual orientation,” she complained in an interview with the local edition of the Ames Tribune.
“When this happens, it is very important that we as a society have rallied, and the people responsible for such actions, I’d expect very serious consequences,” said Reynolds.