Law would increase penalties for desecration
State Rep. Linda M. Gentile, D-Ansonia, voted in the House of Representatives in favor of a bill she co-sponsored to increase the penalties for the intentional desecration of war or veterans' memorials.
The bill unanimously passed the House and Senate and is heading to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
“This bill is so personal for me since last year; monuments in both of the cities of Ansonia and Derby were vandalized. As far as I am concerned, these monuments and memorials are sacred grounds honoring our true local heroes, our veterans,” Gentile said. “In memory and honor of our veterans, we must do what we can to keep thieves and vandals from desecrating those important monuments.”
The bill defines two crimes concerning war or veterans' memorials or monuments - interference with, and possession of a memorial or monument, and sets the penalty for them.
Under the bill, a person is guilty of interference with a war or veterans' memorial or monument if they intentionally deface, mutilate, or destroy it, or remove any part of it from its official location.
A person is guilty of unlawfully possessing a war or veterans' memorial or monument if he or she possesses, purchases, or attempts to purchase a memorial or monument; or sells, offers for sale, or attempts to sell or transfers war or veterans' memorial or monument, or any part of one, knowing that it has been unlawfully removed from its official location.
The bill makes both crimes a class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
This information was released by Gentile's office.