Federal charge filed against woman who allegedly set Montgomery church fire

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) – A woman arrested in lee county Ala. is facing a federal charge after allegedly setting a church on fire in Montgomery last week.

Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Xiaoqin Yan, 27, has been charged by criminal complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama with violating Title 18 U.S.C. Section 844(i), following allegations that she set multiple fires inside the First Baptist Church of Montgomery on September 30, 2021.

An individual violates Section 844(i) if she or he maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other real or personal property used in interstate or foreign commerce or in any activity affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

Multiple state and federal agencies investigated the case.

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation that a crime has been committed. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted, Yan is facing a prison sentence of not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years. There is no parole in the federal system.

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