Denver Hate Crimes Madeline Cramer Catholic Church Update

On January 13, the Denver District Attorney’s Office announced hate crime charges against Madeline Cramer, 26, for her alleged graffiti attack on the building and grounds of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Mile High City’s most iconic Catholic church. Among the sentences prosecutors believe she sprayed were: “Fagots of child rapists,” “Suck my dick” and “Satan lives here.”

Hate crimes and bias-motivated offenses like this are all too common. the US Department of Justice counted 283 hate crimes statewide in 2020, the most recent year for which statistics are available, and information from the Denver Police Department lists nearly 500 busts for such offenses from 2010 through early 2020.

The timeline of the arrest warrant for Cramer begins at 7:40 a.m. on October 10, 2021, when a suspect later identified as Cramer parked a vehicle in front of 406 East Colfax Avenue and then walked across the street to the Basilica. She then used red spray paint to affix phrases and slogans to the building and nearby statues. Here is the list of messages compiled by the prosecutor’s office:

• An upside down cross
• “The fags of child rapists”
• “Suck my dick”
• “Small dick” and “Satan” “Love wins” on a status
• A possible swastika on the door
• “White supremacists”
• “KKK”
• Illuminati and an eye symbol
• “Jesus was here”
• “Leave my children free”
• “Satan lives here”

According to the affidavit, a churchgoer confronted Cramer, who was wearing a black-brimmed hat, black shirt, black skirt and black shoes; she fled the scene. But the HALO video captured his license plate, which was traced back to his home address. A subsequent search of Cramer’s car appears to have provided “evidence”, but the details are erased in the public version of the warrant. Total damage to the basilica is estimated at $10,000.

Cramer was originally arrested on an outstanding Fremont County felony warrant, the warrant says, but “due to COVID-19” that jurisdiction declined extradition. She later parted ways with Oregon but turned herself in to local law enforcement on the evening of January 12. She was charged with one count of criminal mischief, a felony, and committing a bias-motivated crime, a misdemeanor.

The Department of Justice’s page on hate crimes in Colorado shows that the number of such offenses more than doubled in the two-year period between 2018 and 2020, from 123 to 283. About 65% of hate crimes 2020 are linked to race, ethnicity or ancestry, with a bias involving religion accounting for 12.4% of the total. Here’s a graph comparing crimes over that three-year period.

The site also includes press releases for specific hate crimes in Colorado between October 2019 and September 2021. Sample headlines: “Colorado man sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for unprovoked stabbing of black man” and “Southern Colorado man sentenced to over 19 years for plotting to blow up synagogue.”

The Denver district attorney’s office did not respond to Westwordrequest for information on hate crime prosecutions in the Mile High City. However, the agency touted the April 2019 conviction of Ryan Austin Lee, 43, of two counts of bias-motivated crimes, and two others of third-degree assault, for a 2017 incident in which he allegedly threatened and chased a mixed family around Garfield Park in southwest Denver with a hammer. He received a five-year sentence.

Other prosecutions for bias-motivated crimes have proceeded more quietly. from Denver hate crime open data catalog lists 495 arrests from January 7, 2010 to January 4, 2020. In 2019, the most recent full year for which statistics are available, the list lists 86 incidents, 26 of which were allegedly “accepted by DA”. Crimes vary widely and include assault, harassment, burglary, criminal mischief and more.

Cramer’s next court appearance is scheduled for February 14. Click to read the Arrest warrant Madeline Cramer.

Comments are closed.