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Youth held for Kentucky temple vandalism

Youth held for Kentucky temple vandalism
February 07
12:48 2019

India Post News Service

LOUISVILLE, KY: Members of the Indian community of Louisville Kentucky, greatly upset over defiling of their temple, heaved a sigh of relief knowing that this act of vandalism was not the result of an organized religious forum acting behind the scene but an isolated act of hate crime perpetrated by a 17 year old juvenile of the area, acting on his own.
The Louisville police have arrested the 17-year-old boy in connection with the vandalism. Louisville Metro Police said the juvenile suspect was arrested January 31 in connection with the vandalism at the Swaminarayan Temple on Bardstown Road in the Buechel neighborhood earlier that week.

The juvenile, a Jefferson County Public Schools student, is charged with third-degree burglary and first-degree criminal mischief.
Sometime between January 27 and 29, officials maintain the juvenile broke windows and spray-painted “repugnant messages of hate” and black crosses inside the temple.
Louisville Metro Police have taken steps to make sure the community is safe.
The Police believe the suspect acted alone. The arrest report mentioned “a bias with (the crime) being (of) a religious nature,” but a judge would decide whether to add a hate crime enhancement to the initial charges.

Kentucky’s hate crime statute allows a judge to deny probation or shock probation to an offender found guilty of intentionally acting “because of race, color, religion, sexual orientation of national origin” of the victim.
It is reported there were xenophobic and sexist messages scrawled along with images of crosses and phrases such as “Jesus Is The Only God.” Someone spray-painted the eyes of a Hindu religious figure, with black paint dripping down the image’s face.
Swaminarayan Temple officials say there is no video recording of the crime.

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