Texas man convicted of hate crime by federal jury after burning Islamic mosque in Victoria

VICTORIA, Texas — Marq Vincent Perez, the man accused of setting the Victoria Islamic Center on fire last year, was found guilty of hate crime and two other offenses Tuesday in a federal courtroom.

Prosecutors said Perez, 26, was fuel by his hate for Muslims when he set the mosque ablaze in January 2017.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, he now faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the hate crime conviction and up to 10 years for possession of an unregistered destructive device. Perez also faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison for use of fire to commit a felony.

Prosecutors used some of Perez's own comments on Facebook to show his motivation and hatred for Muslims, including a post with derogatory remarks.

The Islamic Center raised over $1 million in funds to rebuild the mosque, which officials say will reopen by October.

After the fire occurred, the Victoria Islamic Center posted on Facebook: "We will rebuild, with love!"

Now with the help of the Victoria community, the center has done just that.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.