News & Politics

Woman Who Threatened to Bomb Georgetown Visitation Over Same-Sex Wedding Announcements Pleads Guilty

Sonia Tabizada faces up to 20 years in prison.

Photograph by wingedwolf via iStock.

A 36-year-old woman from California has pleaded guilty to a hate crime after she threatened to bomb Georgetown Visitation, country’s oldest all-girls Catholic prep school.

Back in May of 2019, Visitation officials announced that the school’s alumnae magazine would begin to publish same-sex wedding announcements. “It is our mission and ministry to understand the value of diversity and respect the dignity of each person,” Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan, the head of the school, said in a letter to the Visitation community. “This change is an important part of ensuring that every individual is respected.”

While Visitation’s communications director told the Post at the time that the response to the letter was “overwhelmingly and heartwarmingly positive,” it also triggered the ire of Sonia Tabizada.

According to a press release issued Monday by the Department of Justice:

“Tabizada learned of this announcement and made multiple calls threatening violence in response to the school’s decision. On May 15, 2019, Tabizada 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 and warned that she would commit ‘terrorism.’”

Tabizada has pleaded guilty to violating federal law by intentionally obstructing people from exercising their religious beliefs. At her March 23 sentencing, she faces up to 20 years in prison.

“The defendant’s violent threats were directed at the free exercise of a private school community’s religious beliefs,” Michael Sherwin, the acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, said in a statement in the DOJ’s press release. “An attack upon the free exercise of any person or group’s religious beliefs is an attack upon the civil rights of every citizen.”

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Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.