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Teenager who carried out vandalism spree in Portsmouth gets fine, community service

Flowers and messages of supporter were left at the door of Temple Israel on Feb. 24, 2023 - one of the places targeted with hateful vandalism.
Dan Tuohy
/
NHPR
Flowers and messages of supporter were left at the door of Temple Israel, one of the places targeted with hateful vandalism in February 2023.

A Portsmouth teenager accused of repeated acts of vandalism, including spray painting a temple with a swastika, has agreed to pay fines and do community service.

Loren Faulkner, 18, was accused of violating the state’s Civil Rights Act on three separate occasions in 2022 and 2023. That included targeting Temple Israel in Portsmouth, as well as multiple businesses that showed support for LGBTQ people, and a Black Heritage Trail sign.

Under the terms of a consent decree, Faulkner will pay $2,500 in fines, attend counseling, and perform 200 hours of community service. If he violates any terms of the consent decree, his fine will increase to $50,000.

“The court found that Mr. Faulkner’s actions were motivated by hostility towards people because of their race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office said in a statement. “The court also found that Mr. Faulkner, through his actions, attempted to interfere or did interfere with the lawful activities of others including their ability to worship freely and engage in free speech or free expression.”

A maintenance worker at Temple Israel in Portsmouth works to remove a spray painted swastika.
Todd Bookman
/
NHPR
A maintenance worker at Temple Israel in Portsmouth works to remove a swastika.

An attorney for Faulkner declined to comment when reached Thursday.

In addition to the financial penalties, the consent decree requires Faulkner to enroll in an educational or vocational program or seek employment.

The vandalism spree shook the Seacoast community and led to an outpouring of support for those targeted. According to the state’s Civil Rights Unit, there were a record number of complaints alleging hate or bias in New Hampshire last year.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.