LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — A Colorado man pleaded guilty to a hate crime for setting fire to a church in Loveland.
Daron Ray Sexton, 22, admitted to intentionally setting the fire on Jan. 19, according to a release from the U.S. Justice Department. The arson happened at Abiding Love Lutheran Church.
“Sexton admitted that he set this fire by throwing two Molotov cocktails at the church – one at the front door and the other at the basement. Sexton further admitted that he was motivated to set this fire due to the religious character of the church and that he intended to destroy the church,” according to the release, which cites court documents and admissions during the man’s plea hearing.
Sexton’s sentencing hearing is set for July 21. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Loveland Police and Fire departments investigated the case. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.