The Department of Justice (DOJ) has been accused of offering a lenient plea deal to a 31-year-old transgender individual who vandalized the St. Louise Catholic Church in Bellevue, Washington. Maeve Nota, who admitted to defacing the church with profane graffiti, destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary, assaulting a church worker, and resisting arrest, will reportedly receive no jail time.
A plea agreement recommended by the DOJ shows that Nota will receive three years of probation at the time of sentencing on June 2. Critics have accused the DOJ of politicizing and weaponizing the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act to go after pro-life Christians praying outside of abortion clinics while ignoring violent felons like Nota.
The Biden administration had previously taken a tough stance against pro-life protesters, like Mark Houck, outside abortion clinics.
Police officers apprehended Nota when she appeared intoxicated after vandalizing the church. She was angry about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Nota spray-painted the church’s outside walls with messages that read, “F— Catholics,” “rot in your fake hell,” “kid groomers,” and “woman haters,” among other messages. A church staff member was sprayed across the face while attempting to chase Nota away. The perpetrator smashed two glass doors with rocks and used a backpack full of spray paint cans to smash the police vehicle before turning themselves in.
While the DOJ has recommended leniency for Nota, they hit Mark Houck, a pro-life activist, with an 11-year prison sentence. Houck was accused of violating the FACE Act by using force with the intent to injure, intimidate, and interfere with clinic workers while outside an abortion clinic.
A jury acquitted Houck, and the FBI raided his home. The DOJ has been accused of using the FACE Act to go after peaceful pro-life protesters while ignoring violent felons.