Former Church Member Convicted of Hate Crime for Setting Fires

Izad Chavoshan 722x406 cropped

A Huntington Beach man has been convicted of arson with a hate crime enhancement for setting fires at a church because he disagreed with its teachings about masturbation.

On three separate occasions in October 2009, Izad Chavoshan lit trash cans on fire outside the Orange County Church of Christ in Irvine, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.

The former church member was "disgruntled" with the church's anti-masturbation teachings, according to the DA.

Chavoshan, 32, was arrested Oct. 21, 2009, while trying to push a lit piece of paper between the church's doors, according to prosecutors.

Chavoshan pleaded guilty to three felony counts of arson, one felony count of attempted arson and a hate crime sentencing enhancement, according to the DA.

He has a prior conviction for criminal threats in 1998, and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19.

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