PEORIA, Ill. (WTVO) — An Illinois man pled guilty Thursday to lighting a Peoria Planned Parenthood on fire last month, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Tyler Massengill, 32 of Chillicothe, said that he set fire to the clinic with an explosive on January 15, according to Fox News. It happened two days after the state approved legislation that protects abortion providers and patients.
Security cameras caught Massengill approaching the building with a Molotov cocktail before smashing a widow and throwing it inside. He then fled on foot.
No one was inside the building at the time.
Massengill was arrested for the crime on January 24. He told investigators that he started the fire because his ex-girlfriend had an abortion their three years ago.
The blaze caused more than $1 million in damages.
“We’re extremely pleased Tyler Massengill has pleaded guilty to setting our Peoria health center on fire and that there is a quick resolution to the case,” said Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “However, the fact still remains that the Peoria community has been robbed of equitable access to reproductive health care until we can rebuild.”
The organization said that the location will not be open for several months due to the fire. Massengill told officials that the blaze might have been “all worth it” if it caused “a little delay” in people receiving services.
Massengill’s sentencing is scheduled for July 6. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.