California woman admits threatening her school over gay marriage announcements
A California woman admitted to threatening to bomb the nation’s oldest Catholic girls’ school – after the school’s alumni magazine said it planned to run gay marriage announcements, federal prosecutors have said.
Sonia Tabizada, 36, left two threatening voicemails at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, DC, in May 2019 after hearing the announcements, stating that “we are all children of God … worthy of respect and love”, federal prosecutors said.
Tabizada threatened to kill school officials and students in a message before calling several minutes later to say she intended to blow up the school and commit “terrorism,” according to reports. court documents.
One of them threatened to kill students if the magazine did not remove “gay mothers”, the Washington Post reported.
“The accused made violent threats against high school students, religious leaders and school officials solely on the basis of her disagreement with the application of religious doctrine by a private school,” said Eric Drieband, prosecutor deputy general of the Civil Rights Division, in a statement.
The disturbing messages came just two days after Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan, president emeritus of the school, announced the plan to announce same-sex marriage, breaking with official church teaching on the subject.
Tabizada pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs.
She previously pleaded not guilty last January to federal charges of obstructing religious exercise by threat and transmitting bomb threats in interstate commerce, the Post said.
Tabizada, who faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $ 250,000 in fines, is expected to be sentenced on March 23.
Her lawyer, Carmen D. Hernandez, did not return a message seeking comment, NBC News reported.