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Ames man guilty of hate crime for burning gay pride flag he ripped from church wall

This news story was published on November 6, 2019.
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AMES – An Ames man has been found guilty of a hate crime after he tore a gay pride flag off the wall of a church and tried to burn it this summer.

The incident took place Monday evening, June 10, 2019 at the Ames United Church of Christ, 217 6th street. According to a statement from the church, “a 30 year old man who lives one block from our church tore down the God is Still Speaking queer pride banner from the southwest corner of our sanctuary and tried to set it on fire. He was intercepted and arrested by the Ames Police Department.”

Later, another statement from the church read, “On speaking with the police commander, I can share with you that this act of violence against our church was part of a larger series of events. However, the suspect specifically named our pride banner as a target, bypassing our much easier to reach pro-immigrant and pro-Muslim banner. It seems that our affirmation of God’s love for LGBTQIA+ people was bothersome enough that in a time of crisis, that affirmation became the target of his anger.”

WHOTV reported that an employee at nearly gentlemen’s club told them, “He was holding the flag in one hand and he was spraying it with lighter fluid at the same time in doing that he caught a patrons car tire on fire.”

Arrested was Adolfo Martinez and charged with 1st degree harassment and reckless use of fire or explosives, court records show.

On November 6, it was announced by the Story county attorney’s office, “Historic jury verdict. Story County jury finds Adolfo Martinez GUILTY of a hate crime, Harassment, Reckless Use Of Fire and Habitual Offender. Hate crimes will not be tolerated in my jurisdiction and will be aggressively prosecuted.”

Sentencing will be scheduled for a later date.


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7 Responses to Ames man guilty of hate crime for burning gay pride flag he ripped from church wall

  1. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 8, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Did any of you read the rest of the story in this case?

    Let me offer some further reading.

    After reviewing the evidence, Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds said hate crime charges will be added because Martinez is suspected of criminal mischief against someone’s property because of “what it represents as far as sexual orientation.”

    Now the Legislature found it necessary to put this law into effect because of people like Mr. Martinez. Yes, we all have a Constitutional right to express ourselves. But we do not have the right under the law, to destroy other people’s property because of bias, whether it be political affiliation, national origin, age, sex, disability, or religion. (Iowa Code section 729A.2)

    Let’s go further. Martinez was arrested in June. He told KCCI in an interview that he tore down the flag that had been hanging from the United Church of Christ and burned it because he opposes homosexuality.

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      November 9, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      but stealing and destroying property are covered under theft and vandalism. this is just to set precedent so anytime someone from some special group has any complaint they can tack hate crime onto the charges. im straight white and male. if i where an ass and flew a white power flag a gay african midget could tear it shit on it and set it on fire…. itd be a hero id be the babayaga and nobody would call it hate crime. equality never existed but the concept of hatecrime ensures it never will. if minority groups be it racial or sexual get harsher sentencing for their mugger than i would i guess i might feel spited and descriminated against. are we saying that i as a white man who loves vagina is stronger and therefore worthy of less protection or are we saying gays and minorities are remarkably weaker thus they deserve more justice and protection? doesnt make sense at all. if the crime committed against me is the same exact crime commited against some tranny why does the punishment not stay the same? this is the only time motivation effects sentencing. if i went out and killed a rando id get the same charge as if i killed a child molester… that is unless pedophiles are on the list of special protected individuals. in any case this is bullshit the flag is cloth not flesh and blood.

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 8, 2019 at 10:14 am

    so you can get a hate crime for VANDALISM…… the flag was an inanimate object. it wasnt made a victim or persecuted for its orientation. wasnt harrassed nor was its way of life threatened or altered. pretty sure i threw away a fruit roll up once…. maybe thats a hate crime? i mean it has fruit in the name a few rainbow colors and comes in that flamboyant silver packaging. you need a human being to be made a victim based on their sex sexual orientation religious belief or race to constitute a hate crime. someones lawyer is a useless piece of shit loser. the judge also is a piece of shit. i could have been my own council and walked. maybe a vandalism and or theft charge not a job killer like hatecrime. the whole case needs retried.

  3. Hate Is A Human Emotion Not A Crime Reply Report comment

    November 8, 2019 at 7:46 am

    Hate crimes are bullcrap. I don’t like queers either. Shame on the LGBT! People are entitled to their feelings.

    Stealing the flag off the church wall is a crime and he should be disciplined, but hate crimes are a farce. People have a right to their feelings even if it is hate!

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      November 8, 2019 at 2:33 pm

      Bet if it was a MAGA hat you would be for the death penalty. Especially if it was a black guy.

  4. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    November 7, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    A hate crime for burning a piece of cloth? Maybe a bit extreme. It’s not like he set fire to an actual person and it’s not like their movement died with the flag. Everyone is getting to damn sensitive. Incarceration for a non violent victimless crime is stupidity. Wonder why our jails and for profit prisons are overrun..