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As Church Attacks Rise, Biden DOJ Seeks No Jail Time for Trans Vandal Who Attacked Church Worker

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ABOVE:  Arielle Del Turco, assistant director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, appeared on the Thursday edition of CBN News' Faith Nation to talk about the rise of attacks against churches.  Faith Nation is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel

The Justice Department is pursuing no jail time for a transgender person who admitted to assaulting a church worker, vandalizing a Catholic church with profane graffiti, smashing its glass, and damaging a statute of the Virgin Mary in Washington state last June.

In the plea agreement for Maeve Nota, 31, the DOJ recommended zero jail time for the perpetrator, according to a Fox News Digital report.

As CBN News reported in June of 2022, Nota was arrested after destroying one entrance to a building, shattering a door in the parish hall, and spray-painting more than a dozen places on walls throughout the church's campus with messages such as "liar," "religion of hate," and "go to your fake Hell." Other messages were too profane to print here.

In addition, Nota attacked a church employee and hit a police car with a backpack crammed full of paint cans. 

slider img 2Nota was captured on video repeatedly throwing a rock at a glass door inside a pastoral office, before kicking and punching in the glass, KCPQ-TV reported at the time. 

The outlet also reported a woman who was praying inside the building tried to talk to the trans man, before locking herself inside as the attacker continued to spray-paint the rock wall outside the building.

The suspect later surrendered to police, but not before assaulting a church worker and swinging his backpack full of paint cans, and hitting a police car with it. 

Bellevue Police Captain Darryl McKinney told KCPQ at the time that the damage would fall under a hate crime statute.  

Instead, a plea agreement was made between the Department of Justice, Nota, and his attorney. It shows that the DOJ will recommend no jail time and three years of probation during sentencing on June 2, Fox reported. 

DOJ Wanted Pro-Life Dad of 7 to Spend 11 Years in Jail for Minor Incident with Abortion Clinic Volunteer

The way the DOJ treated Nota is much different than the aggressive tactics and charges it used against pro-life activist Mark Houck. He had been in a minor altercation with a Planned Parenthood volunteer who was harassing Houck's little boy near a Philadelphia abortion clinic last year.  

The case never went to court, but the Justice Department still came after Houck in an FBI raid with guns drawn and then alleged he violated the Freedom of Access to Clinics Entrances Act (FACE Act). Emails from Thomas More Society attorneys show they explicitly offered to bring their client in to avoid the inconvenience (and danger) of an arrest. The government never responded – not until 15-20 heavily armed federal agents banged on Houck's door one early Friday morning.

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Houck, the father of seven children, found himself facing up to 11 years in prison and a $350,000 fine. But in January a jury acquitted him in federal court. 

"The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution's discriminatory case, which was harassment from day one," said Thomas More Society Executive Vice President & Head of Litigation Peter Breen. 

New Data Shows Increase in Attacks on U.S. Churches

The DOJ's double standard of treatment for the church attacker was revealed as an updated report on anti-church violence has just been made public.

New data from the Family Research Council (FRC) shows an uptick in attacks on churches when compared to recent years. 

As CBN News reported in December, churches were targeted 420 times since 2018.

Now, in the first three months of 2023, 69 acts of hostility have been recorded. That's the most since the FRC started tracking the data six years ago. 

There were 53 incidents of vandalism, 10 arson attempts, three gun-related incidents, and three bomb threats. 

Twenty-nine states experienced acts of hostility against churches. North Carolina had the most incidents, with seven. Ohio and Tennessee each had five. Florida, Missouri, and Pennsylvania each had four. No incidents were found in 21 states or the District of Columbia.

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of