Woman threatens to bomb DC Catholic school over same-sex marriage ads
A California woman has pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes charges after threatening to bomb a Catholic school after announcing she would run gay marriage ads in her alumni magazine.
Sonia Tabizada, 36, of San Jacinto, Calif., Confessed to threatening to bomb Washington-based Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, the oldest Catholic school for girls in the United States in response to a May 2019 decision by the school to post same-sex marriage announcements in Visitation Alumnae Magazine.
Although Catholic education currently disapproves of same-sex relationships, Visitation Prep has justified the publication of the announcements as part of its teaching that “we are all children of God … worthy of respect and love.”
“While I have prayed over this contradiction, I always come back to this choice: we can focus on the Church’s teaching on same-sex marriage or we can focus on the Church’s teaching on the commandment. evangelical love, ”Sister Mary Berchmans, the school’s pro emeritus president, wrote of the decision, according to The Washington Post. “We know from history – including very recent history – that the Church, in her humanity, makes mistakes. Yet, by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, he learns and grows. And so, we choose the evangelical commandment of love.
But Tabizada objected to that, leaving a voicemail message to Visitation Prep on May 15, 2019, threatening to bomb the school and kill administrators and students unless the school reconsidered its decision on the magazine.
She then sent a second voicemail, reiterating her threat to “blow up the school” and “call it a mission from God,” reports Law and criminality.
“You’re going to catch terrorism in your fucking school, motherfucker,” Tabizada said. “And you’re going to be guilty. And I warned you!
Tabizada was charged in January with intentionally interfering with persons in the enjoyment of the free exercise of their religious beliefs, and initially pleaded not guilty. She has no known affiliation with the school.
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“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 of the Ministry of Justice. A declaration. “Tolerance and freedom of religion are fundamental values in our society and the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously pursue violent threats motivated by prejudice. “
“Tabizada used threats of violence to intimidate others because of divergent religious views,” Steven D’Antuono, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s Washington field office, said in a statement. “Every citizen and every community has the constitutional right to exercise their own religious beliefs free from fear and discrimination. Defending civil rights is a top priority for the FBI and we will continue to work to protect the civil rights and freedoms granted to all Americans. “
Tabizada will be sentenced at a hearing scheduled for March 23. The maximum sentence she could face includes up to 20 years in prison, plus three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $ 250,000, according to a justice department. Press release.
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