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Press Release

Lafayette Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Church Defacing Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

LAFAYETTE, La.: The U.S. Attorneys Office announced that Brian Toriano Crimiel, 35, of Lafayette, was sentenced today before U.S. District Court Judge Richard T. Haik to one year in prison for defacing Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and five years in prison for lying to a federal agent with time to be served concurrently.

Crimiel was ordered to pay $2,972 to the Immaculate Heart of Mary’s insurance company and $1,000 to St. James Baptist Church for damage to property. He also was ordered to serve one year of supervised release for defacing the church and three years of supervised release for lying to an FBI agent.

According to court documents, authorities discovered on Feb. 26, 2011 that someone had painted racial slurs on the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and school on 12th Street in Lafayette. Crimiel later admitted to defacing the property, saying 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.

As part of his plea agreement, Crimiel also acknowledged that on Feb. 13, 2011, he defaced and damaged the St. James Baptist Church on Plum Street in Lafayette as well 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.

Crimiel also admitted that he lied to an FBI agent when he denied using his cell phone on the morning of Feb. 13, 2011. Crimiel called 911 anonymously to advise authorities that he saw two women and one man trespassing on St. James Baptist Church property. He admitted later it was part of his scheme to frame his ex-girlfriend.

The FBI-Lafayette Resident Agency and the Lafayette Police Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney James T. McManus prosecuted the case.

Updated May 17, 2017