Sunday, December 22, 2019

Man, 30, who tore down and burned an LGBTQ flag at an Iowa church is jailed for more than 15 years

But you can burn Old Glory all you like -- as free speech

A man has been imprisoned for burning an LGBTQ flag that was flying at a church in central Iowa. Adolfo Martinez, 30, of Ames, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years for the hate crime of arson.

He was also given a year for reckless use of explosives or fire and 30 days for harassment. The sentences are to be served consecutively, Story County court records said.

He was found guilty of a hate crime, which is a class D felony, third-degree harassment, and reckless use of fire last month.

Police allege he stole the flag that hung at Ames United Church of Christ at 217 6th St. It was found burning on June 11 outside Dangerous Curves Gentleman’s Club, 111 5th St, Des Moines Register reported.

Martinez told police he had ripped the flag down and had set it ablaze with lighter fluid because he is against homosexuality.



Anonymous said...

He needs a better Lawyer.

Bird of Paradise said...

So burning a Rainbow Gay Freak Flag gets you 15 or 16 years in Jail just how much more irresponsible can they get i thought burning the flag was Freedom of Expression and where is the ACLU to object to this? Someone needs to be canned for this

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:46,


The guy is guilty of theft. That's it. The flag was not burned in front of or in proximity of the gay church. By definition, a "hate crime" such as a cross burning must be a visible intent of intimidation, and this isn't.

The guy seems to have mental issues and there is much doubt as to his mental competency. A judge should not have let him represent himself alone and without advice from counsel.

The burning of anything like this is a felony within the statutes, and what most articles aren't saying is that this would be the third felony this man has been convicted of. He would be subject to a mandatory term of three years for the conviction alone.

Still, as many have pointed out, if the burning of an American flag is "free expression," so is the burning of a rainbow flag.