Words: Steve Brown
A man in Iowa has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for ripping down and burning a Pride flag on a church.
Adolfo Martinez, 30, was visiting strip club Dangerous Curves back in June when he kicked out after making threats.
After leaving the club, the BBC reports that he travelled to Ames United Church of Christ and ripped down their Pride flag.
He then returned back to the strip club and used lighter fluid to burn the flag in the street and threatened to burn the bar down.
When he was arrested, Martinez pleaded guilted and said he did it because he ‘opposed homosexuality’ and said ‘it was an honour to do that. It’s a blessing from the Lord. I burned down their pride, plain and simple’.
According to the Ames Tribune, Martinez was convicted by a jury in November of a hate crime, third-degree harassment and being a habitual offender.
For all three of his charges, he was handed a 17 year prison sentence – 15 years for being a habitual offender and two years for hate crimes – in Story County District Court, Nevada.
He is not eligible for parole until the mandatory minimum of three years is met and he is the first person to be convicted of a hate crime in Story County.