gtown visitation prep

Woman pleads guilty to making threat to bomb Catholic school in Washington, D.C.

Jan. 5, 2021
Sonia Tabizada, 36, of San Jacinto, Calif., threatened to blow up Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School after it announced it would publish same-sex wedding announcements in its alumni magazine.

A California woman has pleaded guilty to threatening to bomb a Catholic girls' school in Washington, D.C.

The Justice Department said in a news release that Sonia Tabizada, 36, of San Jacinto, Calif., admitted in federal court that she threatened to bomb the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in May 2019.

Prosecutors say the threat was made after officials at Visitation Prep, the oldest Catholic school for girls in the United States, announced that it would begin publishing same-sex wedding announcements in its alumni magazine.

Tabizada learned of this announcement and made multiple calls threatening violence. On May 15, 2019, she left a voice message stating that she was going to burn and bomb the church. Tabizada also stated that she was going to kill school officials and students. Several minutes later, Tabizada left a second voice mail stating that she was going to blow up the school.

“The defendant made violent threats against high school students, religious leaders, and school officials based solely on her disagreement with a private school’s application of religious doctrine,” says Eric Drieband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Tolerance and religious freedom are cornerstone values in our society, and the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute violent threats motivated by bias.”

Tabizada is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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