Woman guilty of threatening to kill, bomb Georgetown Visitation Prep over wedding notices

A California woman, who threatened to kill students and staff at D.C.’s Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School by bombing the school, pleaded guilty to a hate crime in federal court Monday.

Sonia Tabizada, 36, of San Jacinto, California, made multiple calls to Georgetown Visitation Preparatory in 2019 after the school said it was going to start publishing same-sex wedding announcements in its alumni magazine.

Tabizada left voice messages. In one, she said she would burn and bomb the church, and that she was going to kill school officials and students.

Several minutes later, Tabizada left a second voicemail said she was going to blow up the school and warned that she would commit “terrorism.”

“The defendant made violent threats against high school students, religious leaders and school officials based solely on her disagreement with a private school’s application of religious doctrine,” said Eric Drieband, assistant attorney general.

“Tolerance and religious freedom are cornerstone values in our society and the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute violent threats motivated by bias.”

Tabizada pleaded guilty to intentionally obstructing the school, its staff and students in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs, according to a news release from the United States Justice Department.

She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 when she is sentenced on March 23.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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