Guilty Verdict in Hate Crime Trial Over Burning of Ames Church’s LGBTQ Flag
AMES, Iowa – An Ames man has been found guilty of a hate crime for lighting an LGBTQ pride banner on fire at a church over the summer.
The Story County Attorney’s Office says a jury found Adolfo Martinez guilty of a hate crime, harassment, reckless use of fire, and being a habitual offender.
The incident happened back in June, when police say Martinez left the Dangerous Curves club and walked over to the Ames United Church of Christ. He pulled the LGBTQ flag from the front door before dousing it in lighter fluid and lighting it on fire.
Witnesses and the pastor of the church say Martinez was motivated by the church’s acceptance of Muslims and refugees.
Sentencing for Martinez has not yet been scheduled but he faces up to 15 years in prison.