Carmel synagogue vandal sentenced to 3 years in prison

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CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to three years in prison for spray-painting anti-Semitic graffiti and lighting fires outside a Carmel synagogue.

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler says 21-year-old Nolan Brewer of Eminence was sentenced Monday evening for conspiring to violate the civil rights of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla. Minkler announced Tuesday that Brewer pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime.

Nazi flags and iron crosses were found spray-painted July 28 on a brick shed outside the synagogue in Carmel. Several areas of the grass and ground around the shed were also scorched, leaving burn residue on part of the shed. Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard condemned the vandalism and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb cited the incident in asking the Legislature to pass a hate crimes bill.

Corey Freedman, president of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla issued the following statement after the sentence was announced:

“On behalf of the Congregation Shaarey Tefilla community, we thank Assistant United States Attorney Nick Linder and his team for the support through the progress of this case—as for the sentence, we believe that justice has been handed down,”

“While we can hope that this is the last we hear of this case, and that the sentence will help deter others from this type of hate crime, we know better and must continue to be strong and band together, just as we did at the solidarity gathering event last August.”

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