One man has been charged in connection with two church vandalisms that occurred this summer in Calgary, Alberta.
Overnight on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, orange and red paint was placed on the exterior of eleven churches. One church had a window smashed in so that paint could also be thrown inside.
Messages left on one church, St. Bonaventure, read “Charge The Priests”, “Our Lives Matter” and “We Were Children”.
Another church, Calgary's Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, was painted with “751” — presumably in reference to the reports of 751 unmarked graves found near a former residential school in Saskatchewan — on the church's signage.
Sebastian Rodriguez-Huerta, 23, is charged with two counts of mischief to a property primarily used for religious worship. It is alleged that these incidents also meet the threshold of being hate-motivated crimes.
A break in the case came in August, after a detective attending an unrelated incident noticed a man closely matching one of the vandalism suspects. The identification of the suspect led to further evidence coming to light and charges have now been laid in connection with two of the church vandalisms.