Portsmouth man turns himself in after hate crime charges against him

By Haley Clough 

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

A young man from New Hampshire has been charged with 31 counts of criminal mischief and hate-motivated graffiti. 18-year-old Loren Faulkner, from Portsmouth, turned himself in last Thursday. The charges, from early 2023, pertained to Faulkner targeting religious buildings and other communities, such as LGBTQ+ groups or individuals.

Released on bail after his arrest, Faulkner will be tried in June 2024. Authorities did not say whether he would be represented by an attorney. The case occurred in response to a complaint filed against him by Attorney General John Formella last year, where Formella said that Faulkner had violated the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act 21 times. 

Faulkner created homophobic, racist, anti semitic, and hateful graffiti across Portsmouth, destroying LGBTQ+ pride flags, drawing swastikas and crosses on Temple Israel, Jewish Stars of David on St. John’s Episcopal Church, and damaging a Black Heritage Trail sign and Black Lives Matter signage. 

The Associated Press reported that a video made by Faulkner shows him making discriminatory and violent statements. “This (expletive) country needs to burn in hell. Can’t wait to see all these Ukrainians die. We love Putin. We love Russia. (Expletive) Ukraine. (Expletive) gay people,” he said. 

“Hateful acts that are motivated by intolerance for our fellow citizens have no place in New Hampshire and will not be tolerated,” Formella said last year. In response to the material and emotional damages created by Faulkner in early 2023, the community organized a “Love in Bloom” campaign, where community members distributed flowers at the areas that had been defaced. 

In March, Faulkner was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service and was charged a fine to make up for damages.