Crimes against state, county houses of worship may carry stiffer penalties

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Over the holiday season, religious symbols and houses of worship became the targets of vandals in Westchester and Hudson Valley. Now, state Senator Jeff Klein (D-Westchester) is introducing legislation that would make the penalties for such crimes much harsher.

Klein was joined Friday in White Plains by religious leaders and a representative of the Anti-Defamation League to introduce his bill. The legislation would enhance the penalty for anyone who commits vandalism or theft on church grounds from a misdemeanor to a Class E felony. A conviction of that type of crime could bring up to a four-year prison sentence.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, there has been a rise in attacks against houses of worship.

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