An attempt to mock First Lady Melania Trump by spray painting the words "I don't care, do you" on the walls of Mission San Juan turned out to be a really bad idea, and now two young women are facing losing a big chunk of their lives because of it, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Gabriella Fritz and Sydney Elizabeth Faris painted the message, which mirrored a comment that the First Lady had written on the back of her jacket during a trip to Texas, on the historic east wall of Mission San Juan Capistrano on the evening of June 22nd. Thursday afternoon, they pleaded guilty in federal court.
They also allegedly painted a figures of 'closed eyelids' as well as the symbol of a 'bat' and the words F*** ICE on the mission. They also spray painted similar messages on the wall of the east gate and the visitor center of Mission San Jose the next evening.
Prosecutors say the National Park System surveillance video system recorded the two women and a man, conducting the damage.
"Gabriella Petra Faris can be seen walking into view along the east wall of the church," prosecutors said in their report to the court. "Fritz can be seen painting a small pink dot near where a second suspect is painting the wall. Faris next writes F*** ICE and what appears to be FOX 72 on the wall with pink paint."
The prosecutors report continues.
"Sydney Elizabeth Faris can be seen walking into view along the east wall of the church. Faris immediately walks up to the wall of the church and starts spraying it with bluish/green paint. Faris writes BRO+ and what appears to be a 'bat' figure, and then walks out of view of the camera."
The stone sign at the Visitor Center is permanently damaged by the vandalism. The Park Service estimates the total cost of restitution due from the pair is $10,400. As part of their plea agreement, they agreed to pay that money to the government.
The women also face up to ten years in prison, up to three years of supervised release after the sentence is completed, and a fine of up to $250,000.
Both Mission San Juan and Mission San Jose are protected structures managed by the National Park Service and are designated World Heritage Sites. When asked why they decided to deface the sites, Faris said, according to the prosecutors statement, that they were 'just driving around' and decided to drive to the Missions.