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Adam Purinton appears in District Court on March 9, 2017, in Olathe, Kansas. (Tammy Ljungblad /The Kansas City Star via AP, Pool)

Kalvinn Garcia, 26, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court to serve four years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced this week. Garcia admitted he targeted Queer/Bar because he was angered after discovering a sign that said “queer,” ultimately setting fire to a dumpster in the alley directly behind the venue on February 24th, 2020.MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR HATE CRIME

The investigation was carried out by the FBI Seattle Field Office and Seattle Police Department. According to court documents, Garcia told police, “I think it’s wrong that we have a bunch of queers in society.”

Garcia, who was arrested minutes after igniting the blaze, told a stranger weeks later that he intended to “trap and hurt the people inside” Queer/Bar. There were over 100 people inside the club at the time of the incident.

“Mr. Garcia endangered the lives of more than 100 people because of his hatred for members of our LGBTQI+ community,” said Tessa M. Gorman, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington. “We work diligently with our federal, state and local partners to investigate and prosecute acts of hatred against people because of their sexuality or gender identity. This work is a priority because the effect of these hate crimes can linger in communities and traumatize the members of the targeted community for weeks, months or years after.”

Jennifer Wells

Jennifer is a seasoned editor at SongsWire magazine, blending his love for music with his expertise in storytelling.

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