June 6, 2018

Former Organist Won't Face Jail Time For Vandalizing Brown Co. Church

George “Nathan” Stang admitted to vandalizing the church where he was formerly employed following the 2016 election. - Brown County Sheriff’s Department

George “Nathan” Stang admitted to vandalizing the church where he was formerly employed following the 2016 election.

Brown County Sheriff’s Department

The former organist at a Brown County church will not face jail time for vandalizing the building following the 2016 presidential election.

A judge sentenced George “Nathan” Stang to 180 days in jail Tuesday, but suspended the sentence so he won’t serve any of that time. He will instead be on probation for more than one year and must complete 300 hours of community service. The judge stipulated Stang must complete at least 20 hours of community service per month.

Stang admitted to spray painting “Heil Trump”, a swastika and an anti-gay slur on the outside walls of St. David’s Episcopal Church in November 2016. At the time, he told police he was trying to mobilize a movement, after being disappointed in the outcome of the election.

Several members of the church testified during Stang’s sentencing hearing Tuesday, asking the judge not to give him jail time.

Jim Huber says he was shocked when he learned Stang was responsible for the vandalism, but impressed by how he’s handled the aftermath.

“I was amazed at how Nathan accepted responsibility for what he did,” Huber says.

Stang also spoke during the sentencing hearing, and says he feels “sorry” isn’t good enough.

“I feel terribly that my mismanagement of my own depression and well being affected others,” Stang says.

He says he’s attended routine counseling since the vandalism, and also got involved with the Episcopal Campus Ministry at Indiana University.

Brown County Prosecutor Ted Adams requested the judge sentence Stang to 30 days in jail, because of the harm he did to the community.

“Hate did play a major role in this crime,” Adams says.

He pointed out the crime caused some members of the LGBTQ and Jewish communities fear. He says it also drove a wedge between local Republicans and Democrats.

“This affected everyone in Brown County,” Adams says.

But St. David’s parishioners says they’re happy with the outcome of the case.  Huber says the church now has a sense of closure.

“I’m sure that we’re going to start a dialogue with Nathan as to reconciliation and to what forms that that might take,” he says.

St. David’s fired Stang following his arrest, but also offered forgiveness.

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