2006 Code of Virginia § 18.2-127 - Injuries to churches, church property, cemeteries, burial grounds, etc.; penalty

18.2-127. Injuries to churches, church property, cemeteries, burialgrounds, etc.; penalty.

A. Any person who willfully or maliciously commits any of the following actsis guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor:

1. Destroys, removes, cuts, breaks, or injures any tree, shrub, or plant onany church property or within any cemetery or lot of any memorial ormonumental association;

2. Destroys, mutilates, injures, or removes and carries away any flowers,wreaths, vases, or other ornaments placed within any church or on churchproperty, or placed upon or around any grave, tomb, monument, or lot in anycemetery, graveyard, or other place of burial; or

3. Obstructs proper ingress to and egress from any church or any cemetery orlot belonging to any memorial or monumental association.

B. Any person who willfully or maliciously destroys, mutilates, defaces,injures, or removes any object or structure permanently attached or affixedwithin any church or on church property, any tomb, monument, gravestone, orother structure placed within any cemetery, graveyard, or place of burial, orwithin any lot belonging to any memorial or monumental association, or anyfence, railing, or other work for the protection or ornament of any tomb,monument, gravestone, or other structure aforesaid, or of any cemetery lotwithin any cemetery is guilty of a Class 6 felony. A person convicted underthis section who is required to pay restitution by the court shall berequired to pay restitution to the church, if the property damaged isproperty of the church, or to the owner of a cemetery, if the propertydamaged is located within such cemetery regardless of whether the propertydamaged is owned by the cemetery or by another person.

C. This section shall not apply to any work which is done by the authoritiesof a church or congregation in the maintenance or improvement of any churchproperty or any burial ground or cemetery belonging to it and under itsmanagement or control and which does not injure or result in the removal of atomb, monument, gravestone, grave marker or vault. For purposes of thissection, "church" shall mean any place of worship, and "church property"shall mean any educational building or community center owned or rented by achurch.

(Code 1950, 18.1-244; 1960, c. 358; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1982, c. 561; 1983,c. 579; 1990, c. 510; 2004, c. 203.)

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