California woman threatened to bomb Catholic prep school, will spend months in jail

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Source: Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School/Facebook

Mar. 28 2021, Published 3:01 p.m. ET

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A woman was sentenced to jail for threatening to blow up a popular Catholic school in the nation’s capital. 

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The Justice Department recently announced that Sonia Tabizada, 36, of San Jacinto, California, was sentenced to 15 months and 13 days for “intentionally obstructing persons in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs” by threatening to bomb the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, D.C.

In May 2019, school officials announced that Visitation Prep, the oldest Catholic school for girls in the country, would begin publishing same-sex wedding announcements in its alumni magazine to advance its teaching that “we are all children of God ... worthy of respect and love.”  

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According to the plea agreement, Tabizada learned of this announcement and made multiple calls threatening violence in response to the school’s decision. 

On May 15, 2019, Tabizada reportedly left a voice message stating that she was going to burn and bomb the church. Tabizada also stated she was going to kill school officials and students.

Several minutes later, Tabizada left a second voice mail stating that she was going to blow up the school and warned that she would commit “terrorism.”

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“No school and no child should be subjected to death threats, because of their religious beliefs,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. 

“The Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute violent threats motivated by bias.

“The citizens of the District of Columbia and our country are entitled to freely exercise their religious beliefs and to be free from threats of violence based on bias — be it against religion, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. 

Tabizada was also sentenced to two years of supervised release with special conditions. If Tabizada wants to leave the country, she must contact the court and request a modification of the special conditions.

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