An Orange County man charged with lighting fires at an Irvine church because he was disgruntled about its teachings against masturbation was convicted Tuesday of committing hate-crime arson, authorities said.
Izad Chavoshan, 32, who lives in Huntington Beach, set trash cans on fire in front of the Orange County Church of Christ on three separate occasions in October 2009, prosecutors said.
Chavoshan was a former church member who disagreed with the church's teachings against masturbation, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
Chavoshan pleaded guilty to three felony counts of arson, one felony count of attempted arson and a hate-crime sentencing enhancement. He has a prior strike conviction for criminal threats in 1998 and faces a sentence ranging from probation to up to 20 years in state prison, the district attorney's office said.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 19 at the Santa Ana courthouse.