Sonia Tabibzada, a California woman, was charged for threatening to bomb the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School in Washington, D.C., the Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced on Friday.
Tabibzada reportedly made a bomb threat against the Catholic girls’ high school, two days after it revealed that it would start including news on former students’ same-sex marriages in its alumnae magazine. The school had made the statement on May 13, 2019.
“We reached this decision as a school and Monastery leadership after much prayerful consideration and thoughtful dialogue,” said Sister Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM, president emerita of the school and Monastery Superior, in a letter to the Visitation community.
The Washington Archdiocese issued a statement at the time, saying it was not notified of the school’s decision.
Following the publicizing of the new policy, a nun and school leader who previously graduated from there received at least two threatening phone calls from Tabibzada, referencing the decision.
“On May 15, 2019, Tabibzada left a voice message stating that she was going to burn and bomb the church and was going to kill school officials and students. Several minutes later, Tabibzada left a second voice mail stating that she was going to blow up the school and warned that she would commit terrorism,” according to the press release by the Attorney’s Office.
Tabibzada is charged with one count of making bomb threats and another count of obstructing religious exercise by threat.
A two-count federal indictment against the 35-year-old woman was unsealed on January 3, 2020. She pleaded not guilty.
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.