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Temecula church vandalized in possible hate crime

January 20, 2012 | 10:26 am

A burned Bible and a bench marked with a pentagram were tossed outside of a Catholic church in Temecula, prompting an investigation of a possible hate crime.

The pentagram was found scrawled on a bench that was tossed into a fountain outside of St. Catherine of Alexandria Church last week, Riverside County sheriff’s officials told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Then, on Monday, a charred Bible was discovered by parishioners outside the main doors to the sanctuary. Several gravestones were also knocked off their bases the same day at a nearby cemetery.

“It’s a little sad ...” Manuel Cardoza, a priest at St. Catherine’s, told the Press-Enterprise. “Unfortunately, these things happen in this world.”

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-- Esmeralda Bermudez

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