Iowa Man Going to Prison for Burning LGBTQ Flag
The Des Moines Register reports an Iowa man has been sentenced to prison for 16 years for setting fire to an LGBTQ flag over the summer.
Adolfo Martinez, 30, of Ames, last month was found guilty of a hate crime — a class "D" felony — third-degree harassment and reckless use of fire. Police said he stole a pride banner hanging at Ames United Church of Christ, 217 6th St., and burned it early June 11 outside Dangerous Curves Gentleman’s Club, 111 5th St.
Martinez faces both hate crime and arson charges, along with third-degree harassment and reckless use of fire.
Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds told the paper that hate crime charges had been added due to suspicion that Martinez had engaged in criminal mischief against the property because of what it represents in terms of sexual orientation.
According to Iowa State University, in Iowa, being convicted of a hate crime is considered a "penalty enhancement," which typically tacks on extra jail time to a person's sentence.
Martinez is also a repeat offender, which also results in a longer prison term.