Hate Crime Verdict In Burning Of Church Rainbow Flag

The Ames Tribune reports:

The Ames man accused of tearing down a pride banner from Ames United Church of Christ and setting it on fire was found guilty by a jury Wednesday morning.

Adolfo Martinez, 30, was found guilty of a hate crime, third-degree harassment, reckless use of fire and habitual offender, Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said. The habitual offender charge associates with previous reckless use of fire crimes.

It was the first time a hate crime has gone before a jury in Story County, Reynolds said. “Hate crimes will not be tolerated in our jurisdiction,” she said. “Offenders will be held accountable.” A date for sentencing was not immediately set, but he faces up to 15 years in prison.

(Tipped by JMG reader Gene)