Teen must pay for church vandalism - Catholic Courier

Teen must pay for church vandalism

Dan Seklar, 18, one of four teenagers arrested in connection with extensive vandalism June 29 at Chili’s St. Pius Tenth Church, has been ordered to pay $30,915 in restitution for damages.

Acting Monroe County Court Judge Stephen K. Lindley ordered Seklar to pay for damages during a Sept. 21 court proceeding, according to Sonal Rana, assistant district attorney for Monroe County.

If the other three defendants in the case are found criminally responsible for damages, Rana added, they may have to split the cost with Seklar. She added that Seklar also wrote a letter of apology to St. Pius.

Rana said Seklar pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal mischief, a felony. He will serve five years’ probation, and received credit for nine days he served in jail before his plea, she said. The judge also granted him youthful offender status, which will seal his criminal record, she added.

According to Cpl. John Helfer of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, on June 29, vandals defiled holy water; broke into the sacristy; ripped open several rolls of Communion wafers and threw them about; damaged the baptismal font, door frames, a chalice and a painting; discharged fire extinguishers; burned the carpet with cigarettes; made skid marks on the carpet with bicycles; and smashed bottles of Communion wine against a wall.

In connection with the incident, the sheriff’s office said it had arrested four Chili teenagers — Seklar; Richard DeCarolis, 17; Michael Street, 16; and an unnamed 15-year-old.

The cases of DeCarolis and Street are pending before a grand jury, Rana said, and the case of the 15-year-old is being heard in Monroe County Family Court.

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