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Man charged with setting fire to a historic Catholic church in Southern California

May 4, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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A man has been charged with setting on fire a historic Catholic church in Southern California last summer, prosecutors said Tuesday.

(CNN)A man has been charged with setting on fire a historic Catholic church in Southern California last summer, prosecutors said Tuesday.

John David Corey, 57, faces multiple charges, including two felony counts of arson of an inhabited structure and first-degree burglary, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday in a statement.

Corey, also known as Joker, is accused of "starting the fire which spread to the to the roof and along the length of the church," prosecutors said in the statement.

The massive fire left the church with heavy damage to the roof and considerable smoke and water damage to the sanctuary area, officials said.

"The loss to the mission was in the millions of dollars but the loss to the community is immeasurable," District Attorney George Gascón said in the statement.

The church, which is nearly 11 miles northeast of Los Angeles, was the center of a polarizing controversy surrounding statues of St. Junipero Serra, a Spanish priest who began the building of missions that line California and remain a tourist attraction.

by summa-bot

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