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Ohio Man Who Threw Molotov Cocktails at a Church Gets 18 Years in Prison

U.S.Ohio Man Who Threw Molotov Cocktails at a Church Gets 18 Years in Prison

An Ohio man who prosecutors said had tried to burn down a church in anger by throwing Molotov cocktails at it last year because it planned to host two drag shows was sentenced on Monday to 18 years in prison, federal authorities said.

The man, Aimenn D. Penny, 20, of Alliance, Ohio, who was arrested and charged after the March 25 episode, pleaded guilty in October to violating the Church Arson Prevention Act and to using fire and explosives to commit a felony, according to federal prosecutors, who had recommended a 20-year sentence.

“We hope this significant sentence sends a clear and resounding message that this type of hate-fueled attack against a church will not be tolerated in our country,” Kristen Clarke, who leads the Justice Department’s civil rights division, said in a statement on Tuesday.

John W. Greven, a lawyer for Mr. Penny, said in an interview on Tuesday that his client intended to appeal the sentence. He called Mr. Penny’s case “a classic example” of a young person looking for acceptance and turning to the internet to find it.

“I feel he was brainwashed by some people because really there is nothing in his past that would ever indicate that he would do something like this,” Mr. Greven said. “It’s sad all the way around.”

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