2 accused of blowing up LGBT newspaper box in Salem

SALEM, MA (WHDH) - Two New Hampshire men were charged with destruction of property after they allegedly blew up an LGBT newspaper box in Salem, Massachusetts back in August.

Police said 20-year-old Lawrence Gilman and 23-year-old John Richard bought a firework in New Hampshire and put it inside a newspaper box for Rainbow Times, the largest LGBT newspaper in New England. Security camera showed the two running away as the newspaper box blew up.

The newspaper box happened to be in view of a police surveillance camera after police said the box had been vandalized several times at another location. Gilman and Richard are not believed to be suspects in the previous vandalisms.

Police originally investigated the explosion as a hate crime but said they could not find any evidence of that. Police said the suspects admitted to blowing up the newspaper but denied that the vandalism was hate-motivated

“We understand that hate crimes in any case are very difficult to prove and so we agreed with the police and the charges that were being brought because it is very important to us that they are held accountable for what they did,” said Nicole Lashob, the co-owner of the Rainbow Times.

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