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Man charged with vandalism at LGBTQ+ youth center in Fairview Park pleads guilty

Michael Freshwater will be sentenced in late November.

FAIRVIEW PARK, Ohio — A 31-year-old Fairview Park man has pleaded guilty to felony charges of vandalism and ethnic intimidation. 

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, Michael Freshwater pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of vandalism, one count of ethnic intimidation, and one count of criminal damaging or endangering.

Freshwater was arrested in July for an incident at the Colors+ Youth Center on Lorain Road in which authorities say the building was “vandalized with spray paint” with a “racist message.” He's also accused of breaking a window at the location.

RELATED: Man arrested in connection with vandalism at LGBTQ+ youth center in Fairview Park faces judge

Video of the alleged July 1 crime (watch below this story) shows the suspect in action with his face covered at the time of the incident. 

Police say the suspect’s physical characteristics from the video matched that of a suspect from a June 12 incident at a vacant business in Fairview Centre along Lorain Road, which authorities say was also vandalized with spray paint involving a racist message.

RELATED: Hate crime investigation underway after Fairview Park LGBTQ+ youth center vandalized; suspect in custody

After Freshwater's plea today, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O'Malley released the following statement.

"There is no place in our society for hateful ideologies that threaten members of our community. We will always defend those who endure ethnic intimidation, and this type of despicable behavior will not be tolerated." 

Freshwater will be sentenced in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on November 30 at 9 a.m.

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