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A Colorado man was sentenced Tuesday to 39 months in prison for throwing Molotov cocktails at a church last year, setting it ablaze. 

Darion Ray Sexton, 22, pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime charge on May 5, 2023.

Per court documents, Sexton set fire to a church in Loveland, Colorado, the evening of Jan. 19, 2023. Sexton admitted that he threw two Molotov cocktails at the church — one in the front of the building and another in the basement.  

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Sexton later admitted he set the church on fire because of the “religious character” of the church, and he intended to destroy the building, according to the Justice Department. 

The FBI, ATF, and the Loveland Police and Fire Departments were involved in the investigation. 

“Places of worship are critical for our communities, and this office stands ready to protect them,” U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan for the District of Colorado said in a statement.  “Religious freedom means being free to worship without fear. Our office will take every appropriate action to ensure that every Coloradan enjoys this essential freedom.” 

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