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Milwaukee man charged for destroying Virgin Mary statue at St. Adalbert Church

Posted at 1:25 PM, Aug 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-12 14:33:38-04

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man has been charged with a felony for vandalizing a statue of the Virgin Mary at a south side church.

It happened Monday outside of St. Adalbert’s Parish.

According to the criminal complaint, Joshua Cisero is accused of the crime. He’s charged with criminal damage to a religious property, a felony, and if convicted Cisero could spend three and half years behind bars.

Although a new statue stands in place of the old one, some people are still offended.

“That’s messed up. People don’t have no respect today,” John Calderon said.  

Calderon considers this a targeted crime.

“Racism, nothing else. They were trying to target the center of the southside," Calderon said. 

According to court documents, Cisero “caused a scene causing cars to slow down and people to crowd around.” 

When asked why he smashed the statue to pieces with a metal pole, Cisero said, “‘They practice idolatry. They worship Mary, God said ‘Thou shall have no other gods before me’ …And I destroyed it.” 

The church said the statue itself was worth at least $100,000  — but it meant more to them than any amount of money.