After threating to kill students and teachers by bombing the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington DC in May 2019, a woman has plead guilty to hate crimes.
Enraged by the school’s announcement that they would begin publishing same-sex wedding announcements in its alumni magazine, 36-year-old Sonia Tabizada of San Jacinto, California made multiple, threatening calls to the school. Previously, the school is alleged to have denied any requests from alumnae asking to have their same-sex unions announced.
In making its announcement, the school of which is the oldest Catholic girls school in America, Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan, head of the school reasoned that, “It is our mission and ministry to understand the value of diversity and respect the dignity of each person. This change is an important part of ensuring that every individual is respected.”
After learning of the school’s announcement, on May 15, 2019, in one voicemail left by Tabizada she said that she would burn and bomb the church, and that she was going to kill school officials and students. In another Tabizada said she was going to blow up the school and warned that she would commit “terrorism.”
“The defendant made violent threats against high school students, religious leaders and school officials based solely on her disagreement with a private school’s application of religious doctrine,”, Assistant Attorney General, Eric Drieband said. “Tolerance and religious freedom are cornerstone values in our society and the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute violent threats motivated by bias.”
Tabizada sentencing hearing is set to take place on March 23, and by threatening to bomb Visitation Prep, she is guilty of intentionally obstructing persons in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs.
Tabizada faces imprisonment for up to 20 years with three years of supervised release and faces a fine of up to $250,000.