Charges reduced for ‘Indigenous Peoples 5’ in toppling of Junipero Serra statue

by | May 26, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — Nearly three years after five protesters were charged with felony vandalism for toppling and spray-painting a Junipero Serra statue in Northern California, the Marin County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday (May 25) that the case had been resolved with charges reduced from felonies to misdemeanors.Under the agreement, defendants must pay monetary restitution to the church for the repair or replacement of the statue, complete 50 hours of volunteer work, apologize in writing in an official court record, and participate in an upcoming community meeting with a historian to engage in “meaningful dialogue about the issue.”
The defendants must also stay off the church property.
The five charged in Marin County Superior Court were: Ines Shiam Gardilcic, 40; Victoria Eva Montanopena, 29; Melissa Aguilar, 36; Mayorgi Nadeska Delgadillo, 36; and Moira Cribben Van de Walker, 25, according to a news release from the Marin County District Attorney’s Office.
Since the toppling of the statue at Mission San Rafael Arcángel in San Rafael in the fall of 2020, more than 80,000 have signed a petition urging District Attorney Lori Frugoli to drop the charges against them.
The incident occurred during a demonstration on Indigenous People’s Day to protest the colonization of Native Americans, according to news reports.
Images show the statue was knocked down and sprayed with red paint. 

People deface and tear down a statue of Junipero Serra in San Rafael, California, on Oct. 12, 2020. Video screen grab via KTVU
While Serra, an 18t …

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