Brian Toriano Crimiel Pleads Guilty on Charges of Defacing Places of Worship
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 16, 2012|
LAFAYETTE, LA—The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that Brian Toriano Crimiel, 34, of Lafayette, pleaded guilty on Monday before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik for defacing a church and lying to an FBI agent.
Crimiel was indicted in a three-count indictment in February 2012, with two counts of damage to religious property and one count of making a false statement to the FBI. In documents filed with the court Monday, the defendant admitted that on February 13, 2011, he defaced and damaged the St. James Baptist Church on Plum Street in Lafayette by writing racial slurs on the church with spray paint and pouring gasoline on the bushes near the front door with a threat that the church would burn. He admitted that he was trying to frame his ex-girlfriend for the damages and threats and left a number of pieces of evidence at the scene pointing to her as the culprit. Crimiel also admitted that he lied to an FBI agent when he denied using his cell phone on the morning of February 13.
Although Crimiel did not plead guilty to defacing the Immaculate Heart of St. Mary Church on 12th Street in Lafayette, he admitted to doing so on February 26, 2011, similar to the St. James Baptist church, but he did not use gasoline as a scare tactic.
At sentencing, Crimiel faces up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for the damage to St. James Baptist Church; and up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for making a false statement.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Lafayette Resident Agency and the Lafayette Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James T. McManus.