LAFAYETTE — A 34-year-old Lafayette man admitted in federal court Monday to defacing two local churches with predominantly black congregations in February 2011 in an attempt to frame his ex-girlfriend, who is white.
Brian Toriano Crimiel pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard Haik. He will be sentenced on a later date.
Crimiel, who is black, admitted he wrote racial slurs on St. James Baptist Church on Plum Street on Feb. 13 and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on 12th Street on Feb. 26.
Crimiel admitted to picking out both churches because of their racial makeup in an effort to have his ex-girlfriend charged with the criminal acts.
In the St. James Baptist Church incident, Crimiel also poured gasoline on the bushes near the front door, threatening to burn the church, the plea form states.
Crimiel also admitted to leaving behind a number of pieces of evidence that would point to his ex-girlfriend as being the culprit, the plea document states.
In the second incident, Crimiel admitted to using spray paint to write a number of racial slurs and phrases such as “white power” and “hate crimes.”
Crimiel pleaded guilty to one count of damage to religious property and one count of making a false statement, which occurred during an interview with an FBI agent in which Crimiel lied by claiming he did not use or have access to the cellphone used to make a 911 call to the Lafayette Police Department on the morning of the first incident.
Crimiel was arrested following a joint investigation by the Lafayette Police Department and the FBI.
Crimiel faces not more than one year on the damage to religious property count and up to five years on the false statement count.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James T. McManus.