KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- A man who was inspired by a church sermon to set fires at a Planned Parenthood clinic in southwestern Michigan was sentenced Monday to five years in prison.
Joshua Brereton, 25, had pleaded guilty to committing arson at the Kalamazoo clinic last July. The clinic was not open at the time.
Planned Parenthood offers abortion services. Brereton has made videos calling abortion a “genocide of babies.”
“This offense was committed impulsively after he had heard a church sermon about ‘making a difference.’ ... In retrospect, Joshua looks at himself every day with great regret,” defense attorney Donald Smith said in a court filing.
U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney ordered a five-year prison term, the mandatory minimum under federal law.
Clinic repairs and lost income due to the arson totaled about $33,000, said prosecutors, who noted that Brereton set three separate fires on the outside of the building.
"While Americans may disagree strongly on matters of law and policy, violence is never an acceptable means to settle our disputes,” U.S. Attorney Mark Totten said.