A Florida man who vandalized an LGBTQ street mural with his truck during a pro-Trump rally last year has been ordered by a judge to write an essay about the Pulse nightclub massacre.
During a hearing Thursday, Judge Scott Suskauer with the criminal court in Palm Beach County ordered 20-year-old Alexander Jerich to write 25 pages about the Orlando shooting that left 49 dead in 2016, court documents show.
Jerich was arrested after he used his father's truck to burn tire marks over the rainbow street mural that had been painted at an intersection at Delray Beach on June 14 last year.
The artwork had been unveiled only two days prior to mark LGBTQ Pride month.
Jerich had been participating in a convoy organized by local Republicans to mark former president Donald Trump's birthday.
According to a criminal complaint, a concerned citizen alerted police to a video showing the mural being defaced.
Another person who had attended the rally came forward, telling investigators he heard a man scream, "Adam, tear up that gay intersection."
This witness told police he felt compelled "to come forward, not only as a community member but as a gay man."
On March 1, Jerich pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor reckless driving.
He must write the Pulse essay prior to his full sentencing on June 8.
Prosectors want him to be sentenced to 30 days in jail, as well as community service and five years probation.
His attorney, Robert Pasch, instead asked that Jerich receive a sentence of three years probation with community service "crafted restoratively with input from the LGBTQ community."
In a sentencing recommendation, Pasch argued that Jerich "acknowledges and regrets the pain and anger felt by members of the LGTBQ community."
But Rand Hoch, the president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, said in a victim impact statement to the court that Jerich had never apologized to his organization or to other LGBTQ groups in the area.
"He was not just a young man fooling around with his truck. Jerich sought to make a very public statement against the LGBTQ+ community. And he did," Hoch wrote. "At a welcoming public venue representing inclusion, Jerich literally left marks of hate."
Prior to the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, the Pulse massacre was the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
Jerich's attorney did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.