[UPDATED with Sentence:] Izad Chavoshan Tried to Burn Down Irvine Church Four Times Over Masturbation Teachings

Categories: Crime-iny
UPDATE, AUG. 19, 11:24 A.M.: Huntington Beach's Izad Chavoshan, who tried four times to burn down Orange County Church of Christ in Irvine because of its teachings against masturbation, was sentenced today to six years and four months in state prison.

Not only did Chavoshan earn the ridicule of radio deejays, late-night comedians and a two-bit OC Weekly news blog hack, he earned a spot on the Orange County Human Relations Commission's list of hate crimes against Christians--by a Christian!

Wonder how he lit a match with one hand?

UPDATE, AUG. 9, 4:43 P.M.: Those who flock to Orange County houses of worship (especially those with "Church of Christ" affixed to the sign out front) can finally relax.

Izad Chavoshan, the 32-year-old Huntington Beach man who four separate times tried to make the Orange County Church of Christ in Irvine go up in flames because of its teachings against masturbation, has been convicted.

I've heard of fire and brimstone and burning bushes, but this is ridiculous.

Izad Chavoshan booking photo.JPG
Courtesy of Orange County District Attorney's Office
Izad Chavoshan's booking photo.
Chavoshan--let's just call him a troubled fellow, shall we?--pleaded guilty today to three felony counts of arson, one felony count of attempted arson, and a hate crime sentencing enhancement that could put him in state prison for 20 years following sentencing scheduled for Aug. 19 in Santa Ana. He could also get probation. After all, he did plead guilty, and the church only sustained minor damage.

Then again, Chavoshan does have that prior strike conviction for making criminal threats in 1998.

Eleven years later, on three separate nights between Oct. 15 and 19 in 2009, the former Church of Christ congregant drove to the chapel after everyone had left. All three times, he took contents out of the outdoor trash cans, placed them next to the church and set them on fire. They all burned out before doing much more than charring, and church officials reported the torchings to Irvine Police.

As you'd expect, cops (from Irvine Police Department's Special Investigations Unit) and fire investigators (from Orange County Fire Authority) started staking out the church. Sure enough, around 10 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2009, someone drove up and parked close to the front doors, got out of his car and threw a trash can at the glass portion of the front church doors in an effort to break the glass.


The man was then seen removing a pack of matches from his pocket, lighting a piece of paper on fire and trying to push it through the closed church doors. That's when fire and police investigators swooped in and arrested Chavoshan.

During court testimony, it was disclosed that Chavoshan, who'd once been a devout follower, had become disenfranchised over the Church of Christ's teachings against masturbation. While there is nothing in the Bible specifically about self-lovin', Paul does mention in there a couple times that if the unmarried and/or widowed cannot control their passions, they should marry.

Yeah, marriage, that'll stop the spanking.

In honor of a news item that we here at the Weekly call "a home run," please leave puns and snarky comments with this post. I'll start it off below . . .

From Izad Chavoshan's Facebook page

UPDATE, NOV. 6, 2009, 2:38 P.M.: The bizarre case of the Huntington Beach man charged with trying to burn down Orange County Church of Christ not one, two, three but four times (!) just keeps getting bizarrer.

Thirty-year-old Izad Chavoshan could get up to 20 years in state prison if he is convicted of the three felony counts of arson, one felony count of attempted arson and a hate crime sentencing enhancement against him. It certainly won't help Chavoshan's defense that he has a prior strike conviction from 1998 for criminal threats.

Yet, to read Chavoshan's Facebook page, you get the impression that authorities must've grabbed the wrong dude. The 1996 Marina High School grad lists his nickname as "Johnny Cash," his party affiliation as Republican and his favorite quote being law-and-order moralista  Ronald Reagan's "I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself."

Chavoshan's page includes photos from Orange Coast College Persian Students Society events and parties, and among his message to the other 150 fans of the Los Angeles International Church of Christ-East Region Religious Center was this one from Aug. 5: "Hello LAICC . . . I encourage all of you to attend Harvest Crusade. I am a born-again Christian and a Republican. www.harvest.org."

Just 10 or so weeks later, he was arrested not with a smoking gun but a burning trash can in front of the LAICC's Orange County church in Irvine, and investigators linked him to three other fires there since Oct. 15.

What the hell happened?

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