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Calif. Woman Admits Hate Crime In Bacon Left At Davis Mosque

The Davis woman accused of committing a hate crime at a mosque near UC Davis earlier this year pleaded guilty today.

The Yolo County District Attorney's Office says 30-year old Lauren Kirk-Coehlo faces possible penalties ranging from probation to six years in state prison.

"We're still deciding exactly what we're going to pursue," says Deputy District Attorney Ryan Couzens.

Couzens says Kirk-Coehlo admitted to vandalizing the Islamic Center of Davis by smashing windows, destroying bikes and leaving raw bacon strips on door handles. That last offense brought hate-crime charges because pork is a forbidden food for Muslims. And Couzens says there's more.

"There were some very incendiary and troubling things that were found that Miss Kirk-Coehlo had said to friends and on social media about wanting to hurt people," says Couzens. "And that caused us great concern."

Kirk-Coehlo's sentencing is scheduled for June 16th.

Saad Sweilem is a civil rights attorney with the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He says today's guilty plea is good news.

"We really hope this sends a message that there are consequences when people commit hate crimes," says Sweilem. "And we hope that it will prevent others who may have otherwise felt emboldened given the current climate. Maybe this will let them know that this is not acceptable behavior."

Couzens says prosecutors and the Probation Department will use the next couple of months to come up with a recommendation for the judge.

 davishate crime

Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the voice of Capital Public Radio News as anchor of Morning Edition and Insight. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music. Steve also produced stories for CapRadio.org.   Read Full Bio 

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