Delphos woman gets probation in church desecration case

By J Swygart -



LIMA — A 22-year-old Delphos woman will spend the next two years on probation for vandalizing a Lima church this summer.

Natashia Shaeffer-Winget appeared Monday in Allen County Common Pleas Court for sentencing after pleading guilty last month to a single charge of vandalism, a fourth-degree felony, for damage she and a co-defendant did to the exterior of the New Life Assembly Church.

In exchange for her plea, prosecutors dismissed a charge of desecration.

Police said Shaeffer-Winget and co-defendant Theron Litke caused extensive damage to New Life Assembly Church, 1003 E. Kibby St., Lima, by spray-painting three sides of the church’s exterior and throwing eggs at the structure.

The acts of vandalism were discovered the morning of June 20 when Pastor Bob Wardle arrived at the church. He was greeted by large spray-painted message on the church’s exterior that read “God is a woman and she is gay.” Other graffiti written on the walls included “Love is love,” “God is dead” and “Be kind.”

Vulgar references to President Donald Trump were also spray-painted on the walls of the non-denominational church. The front entrance of New Life Assembly was not defaced, but the east, west and north-side exterior walls were vandalized with graffiti and eggs, as was a detached shed on the property.

Litke has already been accepted into a diversion program in lieu of prosecution. Shaeffer-Winget was offered a similar option but saw that deal revoked when she failed to appear for a court hearing in September.

Litke and Shaeffer-Winget will be required to reimburse New Life Assembly $250 each to cover the cost of the deductible in the church’s insurance policy.


By J Swygart

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