State Senator: You Mess With the Menorah, You Get the Felony Charge


menorah-gateThis season, Bronx State Sen. Jeff Klein is reminding mischief makers that state law has been expanded to make it a Class “E” felony – in most instances – to vandalize or steal from within a house of worship,┬áincluding vandalizing or stealing property outside the building or on its surrounding property.

“The holidays are a special time of year and I want the residents in my district to know that if a house of worship or its surrounding property is defaced, vandals will pay the price.

“With this new law we not only secure the sacredness of the structures where New Yorkers worship but also the property. That includes…menorahs and cemeteries on the grounds of these houses of worship. With this law we send a clear message to would-be vandals – that their insensitive behavior will no longer be tolerated,” Klein said.

Prior law protected scrolls, religious vestments, vessels and other religious items located in any building or structure used as a place of worship. It didn’t afford the same protection to religious items outside of the facility – punishing intentional damage to the property of a house of worship as a class “A” misdemeanor, regardless of the amount of damage caused or the context in which the damage was caused.

{NY Daily News/}