Thursday, September 10, 2015
A Hispanic teenager has pleaded guilty to vandalizing a synagogue in his suburban Washington, DC, hometown
Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza, 18, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, has pleaded guilty in Montgomery County District Court in Rockville to charges of defacing religious property and malicious destruction of property. Espinoza-Carranza, whose sentencing is scheduled for October 20, 2015 was arrested on April 14, 2015 for spray-painting anti-Semitic graffiti, including swastikas, on the walls, windows and doors of Shaare Torah Synagogue one week earlier. He is expected to avoid jail time and instead will be required to visit the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, write an essay and help repair the synagogue. At the time of his arrest, the teen told detectives that he carried out the attack on the Shaare Torah Synagogue because he disliked the Jewish people who worshiped there.