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Former Organist At Brown County Church Sentenced To Probation, Community Service
Updated June 7, 2018 7:01 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(BROWN CO.) - The former organist at a Brown County church will face no jail time for vandalizing the church building in 2016.

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George "Nathan" Stang was fired after he admitted to defacing the church with hateful graffiti. He spray painted "Heil Trump", a swastika and an anti-gay slur on the outside walls of St. David's Episcopal Church in November 2016.

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Stang told police at the time of his arrest, he vandalized the church to "mobilize a movement" after being disappointed in and fearful of the presidential election results. He told police his actions were not motivated by "anti-Christian or anti-gay" feelings; rather, they were strictly out of fear and he wanted to incite anger and bring people together to fight hate. He told police that as a gay man, he feared for the nation's future.

Stang was sentenced to 180 days in jail Tuesday, but the judge suspended the sentence so he won't serve any of that time. He was placed on probation for more than a year and must complete 300 hours of community service. The judge stipulated Stang must complete at least 20 hours of community service per month.

Several members of the church testified during Stang's sentencing hearing Tuesday, asking the judge not to give him jail time.

"After discussions with church leadership and congregational members, our church community has offered Mr. Stang a path to reconciliation and possible future re-employment," the news release from the Rev. Kelsey Hutto stated at the time of Stang's arrest. "Following discovery of the graffiti, we proclaimed a message of love and forgiveness. This message is at the core of what it means to be a follower of Jesus, and we did not want that message to be empty talk."

The reverend added that many people were affected by the graffiti sprayed with black paint on the Bean Blossom church.

"Supporters of President Trump, those who are Jewish or have ties to the Jewish community, and those in the gay community all were hurt. We hope that in time forgiveness and reconciliation can be reached by all sides. We will continue to offer the love of God to all people regardless of where you come from, what you believe, what color you are or who you love."

"We hope and pray that Mr. Stang will accept our offer and embark on this journey with us, which will include counseling, meetings, community service and a variety of opportunities for Mr. Stang to reconcile with our church community."

Since the incident Stang has attended routine counseling and got involved with the Episcopal Campus Ministry at Indiana University.



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