A man has appeared in a Montreal court charged with the desecration of a synagogue in a Montreal suburb.
Patrice Belley-Gervais appeared in connection with May 2020 desecration and vandalism at the Congregation Sepharde Kol Yehudaa, a small synagogue in the Cote-St-Luc suburb with a large Jewish population.
When congregants returned to the synagogue after its lengthy closure due to COVID-19 restrictions, they found that it had been trashed with walls covered in antisemitic graffiti, religious items strewn on the floor and Torah scrolls stuffed down a toilet. At the time, one congregant described it as “carnage”, while a leading activist group called it “one of the worst such incidents in years.”
The arrest of Mr Belley-Gervais by Montreal Police follows the earlier arrest of Adam Riga (known also as Adam Rickett), 28, charged in January with defacing Montreal’s famed Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue with antisemitic graffiti, uttering threats and trying to commit arson.