Civil Rights Group Meets on Nativity Scene Vandalism

Among those at Friday morning's press conference were Haverhill Police Lieutenant Robert P. Pistone and Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Among those at Friday morning's press conference were Haverhill Police Lieutenant Robert P. Pistone and Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Rabbi Ira L. Korinow, chairman of the Haverhill Civil Rights Commission.

The Haverhill Civil Rights Commission meets Tuesday morning to determine what steps to take in light of the vandalism and theft at a nativity scene outside Sacred Hearts Church, Christmas morning.

Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Ira L. Korinow, chairman of the commission, called the meeting Sunday.

“I think that a Civil Rights Commission statement is very much needed…Whether the FBI considers it a hate crime or not, I do feel that a community response from the Civil Rights Commission is needed,” Korinow wrote to commission members.

Sacred Hearts Pastor John Delaney said Father Benjamin LeTran discovered the baby Jesus statue was stolen and a severed pig’s head put in its place.

“It’s vandalism, it’s theft, and certainly, if our investigation leads us to believe that the person that did this was motivated by prejudice toward religion, then it will be treated as a hate crime,” Haverhill Police Lieutenant Robert P. Pistone said at a press conference Friday morning.

Members of the private Civil Rights Commission include Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, former Mayor James A. Rurak, Police Chief Alan DeNaro and other community leaders.

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