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Police: Man vandalized Ogden church, burned Bible to 'cause fear'

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A Utah man is accused of breaking into an Ogden church, vandalizing it and burning a Bible, in hopes to "cause fear to those wanting to worship" there. (Photo: Getty Images){ }

A Utah man is accused of breaking into an Ogden church, vandalizing it and burning a Bible in hopes to "cause fear to those wanting to worship" there.

Caleb Papaa Stanley, 23, was arrested Thursday for burglary, criminal mischief, arson and theft, according to a probable cause affidavit.

A witness said Stanley entered the church near 3000 Wall Ave. through a broken window in the women's bathroom. He allegedly spray-painted the word "God" on the floor of the sanctuary

"There was a large black dot underneath the word with the spray paint can sitting in the middle of the dot. Just under the dot, a sideways eight was sprayed in the same black paint. The spray paint was still wet to the touch. There was a black line of spray paint on the podium, and the letter 'S' painted on the west side of the sanctuary," the affidavit states.

A person attempted to remove the paint, but it had already damaged the finish on the floor. The labor to fix it would cost an estimated $1,000.

Stanley also allegedly spray-painted a five-pointed star within a circle on the exterior door near office space. Gold silk fabric was draped over the symbol and was covered in liquid, police reported.

A Bible was found lying next to the symbol, with some center pages torn out and burned. Charred fragments of the book were scattered all over the floor and led into the nave.

"There were several doors covered in the water based thinner. Caleb said he soaked the doors in an attempt to make the area safe," the affidavit states. "Based on the physical evidence, Caleb intended to create a larger fire by soaking bibles in the clear liquid then igniting them."

The upstairs office had also been broken into, the door handle was removed and the door was soaked in the water-based thinner. Stanley had reportedly kicked the door and shattered the doorframe. A Yamaha four microphone mixer was missing.

While speaking with officers, Stanley allegedly admitted to wanting to "cause fear to those wanting to worship at the church."

He was booked into the Weber County Jail.

Individuals charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.



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