Pair plead guilty to vandalizing 3 houses of worship in Modesto with spray-painted slurs

Fresno, USA - Two men have pleaded guilty to vandalizing two churches and a synagogue in Modesto by spray-painting anti-Semitic and anti-Christian slurs.

Federal prosecutors say Brian Lewis of Modesto and Abel Gonzalez of Morgan Hill pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Fresno to conspiring to violate the civil rights of members of Congregation Beth Shalom.

They also admitted vandalizing Our Lady of Fatima Church and School and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation by spray-painting the walls in February 2006. Both men are 23.

Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento, says the case was delayed while prosecutors negotiated a plea with the men. They face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison when they are sentenced in April.