Man Accused of Vandalizing North Hollywood Catholic Church Pleads Not Guilty to Charges of Arson, Burglary
The man accused of vandalizing one of the Los Angeles areas’ best-known Catholic churches was charged Wednesday, authorities said.
Russel Congleton, 58, pleaded not guilty two counts each of arson of property and vandalism, and one count each of arson of a structure and second-degree commercial burglary, according to a news release from the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
On July 25, Congleton allegedly broke into St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Hollywood, shattered stained glass windows, damaged religious statues and set trash bins on fire, police said.
Authorities told the Los Angeles Times that the vandal caused more than $100,000 in damage.
Congleton also is accused of damaging two cars outside the church.
If convicted as charged, Congleton faces a maximum possible sentence of eight years and eight months in state prison.
He will return to court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 16, prosecutors said.
The defendant remained in custody Wednesday on $46,000 bail, inmate records show.