Colorado man pleads guilty to hate crime for church fire

Generic church fire graphic
Generic church fire graphic(Clarendon County Fire Department / MGN)
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 1:35 PM MDT
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LOVELAND, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado man pleaded guilty to a hate crime on Thursday after he set fire to a church in Colorado.

The crime was carried out on Jan. 19. The Department of Justice is reporting 22-year-old Darion Ray Sexton set fire to a church in Loveland by throwing two Molotov cocktails at the building. The Department of Justice adds Sexton admitted that he was motivated to set this fire due to the religious character of the church and that he intended to destroy the church.

“Protecting religious freedom and observance is a top priority for the Department of Justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We will continue to vigorously prosecute those who attack houses of worship and target religious communities.”

The hate crime took place at Abiding Love Lutheran Church in Loveland.

Sexton pleaded guilty to a hate crime charge and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21 as he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.