Biden DOJ recommends no jail time for attack on Catholic church in Washington state

vandalism Maeve Nota vandalized St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington, in June 2022. | YouTube/CNA

President Biden’s Department of Justice is facing criticism after it was reported that the DOJ recommended zero jail time in a plea deal involving a suspect charged with destruction of property at a Catholic church in Washington in June 2022.

The damage at the St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington, amounted to more than $30,000, which included the destruction of an Italian-made Blessed Virgin Mary statue, anti-Catholic graffiti, and smashed windows.

The defendant, Maeve Nota — who was 31 years old when arrested back in 2022 — is also being charged on the state level with a hate crime and assault. During the attack, Nota also spray-painted a church employee’s face and clothes.

Nota — who reportedly identifies as a transgender female — entered into a plea agreement in March with the DOJ. In the agreement, Nota pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of destruction to religious property. 

The crime holds a maximum prison sentence of one year, up to a $100,000 fine, up to five years probation, and supervision following release from prison. If the court accepts the DOJ’s recommended sentence, Nota will serve no jail time but be sentenced to three years probation, according to the March 14 plea agreement. Requirements of probation can differ depending on the crime, such as appearing in court and reporting to a probation officer. 

According to the plea agreement, the court makes the final decision on Nota’s sentence and doesn’t have to accept the DOJ’s recommendation.

The plea agreement says that Nota attacked the church “because of the religious character of the property.”

“Who would have known many months later the Department of Justice recommends no jail time for a hate crime... oh yeah I guess we all would have known. Thank goodness for Biden-era policies that ruin America and don’t hold criminals accountable,” Twitter user Tyrel said

Some contrasted the DOJ’s recommendation for Nota’s punishment and its aggressive prosecution of the pro-life father of seven Mark Houck, who was acquitted of his federal charges in January. Houck, a Catholic, was accused of trying to stop abortion services by physically pushing an abortion clinic escort while sidewalk counseling with his 12-year-old son outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood. He maintained he was protecting his son from the harassment of the clinic escort.

“Let’s all stop pretending @JoeBiden is #Catholic. His @DOJ prosecuted devout Catholic Mark Houck for protecting his son against an abortion activist, he faced 11 years. This transgender that vandalized causing $10,000 worth of damage gets NOTHING!” The Crusade Channel tweeted

Mike Davis, founder of the Article III Project — a nonprofit with a mission of supporting “constitutionalist judges” — told Fox News Digital: “It is very clear that the Biden Justice Department has politicized and weaponized the FACE Act to go after pro-life Christians praying outside of abortion clinics like Mark Houck while turning a blind eye to violent felons terrorizing and badly damaging Catholic churches like Maeve Nota."

The FACE Act prohibits “violent, threatening, damaging, and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with the right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services.”

The Department of Justice has faced criticism for its disproportionate use of FACE Act charges against pro-life protesters in the wake of more than 100 pro-abortion attacks following news in May 2022 that Roe v. Wade would be overturned.

Roe was overturned that June, but since its overturning was anticipated, there have been 60 recorded pro-abortion attacks on American pro-life pregnancy centers. Law enforcement has only brought FACE Act charges against a total of five people in connection with the attacks against pregnancy centers.

The Daily Signal reported that 26 pro-lifers were charged with the FACE Act in 2022 alone. Eight more pro-lifers were charged with FACE Act violations in February. 

“Despite these psychopathic actions, the DOJ recommends ZERO jail time for Maeve Nota, 31-year-old transgender individual who vandalized the St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, WA, & smashed a police car. This is the exact opposite of how they treat Christians & pro-lifers,” Twitter user Shadow Bird said

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