(GoRealNewsNow.com) – In a controversial new court ruling, a 20-year-old man from the White Lives Matter group, which prosecutors and mainstream media describe as “extremist” or “pro-Nazi,” has been slapped with an 18-year prison sentence for trying to set ablaze a church supporting LGBT individuals.
Aimenn Penny, an Ohio native, was apprehended last year following his actions involving the construction and use of Molotov cocktails against the Community Church of Chesterland in Chesterland on March 25.
This incident occurred just before the church was scheduled to host LGBTQ-related events the subsequent weekend, according to a report by the supposedly centrist news outlet The Hill.
Federal prosecutors highlighted that Penny’s actions were motivated by his disapproval of the church’s stance in favor of the LGBTQ community, intending to completely demolish the church.
In October, Penny admitted guilt to violating the Church Arson Prevention Act and to employing fire and explosives in the commission of a felony, an offense that necessitates a minimum sentence of five years in prison.
He received a sentence on Monday of 216 months in incarceration, coupled with three years of supervised release.
Federal prosecutors, in a sentencing memo last week, underlined the historic severity of church burnings in the United States.
They said it was “as potent a symbol of hate as burning a cross on a lawn or leaving a hanging noose.”
“When Defendant Aimenn Penny threw Molotov cocktails at the Community Church of Chesterland, he joined this shameful history of hatred and attacked the heart of the local community, trying to intimidate and frighten those who disagreed with him,” the prosecution wrote.
Penny admitted to the FBI his intent to halt the drag event in an effort to protect children and expressed regret that his Molotov cocktails did not cause more damage. The church, however, suffered only minor harm.
Following a search of Penny’s vehicle and home, authorities discovered various weapons, ammunition, a tactical vest, a shield, sheathed knives, and Nazi memorabilia.
According to prosecutors, Penny is linked to White Lives Matter, which is said to harbor “racist, pro-Nazi, and homophobic views.”
Previously, law enforcement in Wadsworth, Ohio, identified Penny as one of the members of White Lives Matter distributing “propaganda flyers” during a drag queen story hour event.
Since his arrest in March, Penny has been detained at the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown, Ohio.