A Pennsylvania teenager was charged with desecrating a venerated object on Tuesday after mimicking a sex act with a statue of Jesus.
The 14-year-old simulated oral sex with the kneeling statue, and posted the photos on Facebook. He also stood on the statue's hands. He has been charged in Bedford County juvenile court, the Daily Mail reports.
According to a police report, the misdemeanor crime occurred "on or about" July 20 outside of Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC), a Christian service organisation in Everett.
After the boy uploaded the photos to Facebook, he received violent threats, and the district attorney's office was alerted of the photos.
The DA forwarded the photos to the Bedford Police Department, who investigated the crime. Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson Trooper Jeffrey Petucci said that based on their investigation, the DA decided to file charges.
Love INC insisted that they were not the ones that alerted the authorities.
"Our request was for prayer for the young man," spokesperson Bev Patton told the Daily Mail.
The teen did not disclose why he desecrated the statue.
The "desecration of a venerated object" charge stems from a 1972 Pennsylvania law protecting revered items. A student at a Catholic college was charged with the same crime in January 2010 after he urinated on a Nativity scene in Wilkes-Barre's Public Square.
A police officer witnessed King's College student Nathan Strawn, with his genitals "completely exposed to multiple persons", urinating on the display. Patrolman Brian Gist ordered him to stop urinating, but Strawn took off on foot. After a brief pursuit, Strawn was captured and arrested.
"While speaking with the defendant a strong odor of an intoxicating beverage was detected on his breath, along with red/glassy eyes, and slurred speech," Gist wrote in an affidavit.
The 22-year-old was charged with desecration of a venerated object, disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, and public drunkenness. The Nativity scene had been donated by St Mary's Church of the Maternity.