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A West Hollywood artist who admitted vandalizing a Torrance Chick-fil-A restaurant with the words "Tastes Like Hate" in protest of the company president's comments against same-sex marriage pleaded no contest Friday to a misdemeanor vandalism charge and was sentenced to three years probation.

Manuel Castro Jr., 31, also was barred from possessing any paint, paintbrushes, spray paint, aerosol cans or vandalism tools outside his home, according to Torrance Assistant City Attorney Patrick Sullivan.

Castro also was ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, and pay $400 in fines plus penalties and a $419 booking fee. He also must stay away from all Chick-fil-A restaurants while on probation, Sullivan said.

In exchange for Castro's no-contest plea, a misdemeanor charge of possession of vandalism tools was dismissed. Castro was not in court for the hearing, and the plea was entered on his behalf by his attorney.

A restitution hearing was set for Jan. 9, Sullivan said.

Castro painted the words "Tastes Like Hate" with the stenciled image of a cow holding a paint brush on an exterior wall of the restaurant in the early morning hours of Aug. 3. Castro was arrested Aug. 8 after giving a statement to an online news publication claiming responsibility for the vandalism.

- City News Service