Breaking Christian News

Ninth Pro-Lifer Convicted of FACE Act Violations in DC Bench Trial

Bettina di Fiore : Nov 17, 2023
LiveAction News

The rescue action in question was live-streamed on Facebook by DC Area Anti-Abortion Advocacy. According to the indictment, a nurse stumbled and sprained her ankle as a result of the action; however, although the same document alleges that the defendants "did by force ... intentionally injure ... and attempt to injure" an unnamed "patient," no overt acts of violence on their part are described therein. -from March 30, 2022 LiveAction account

[] [On Thursday], November 16, the verdict in Paulette Harlow's federal bench trial was handed down by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. Kollar-Kotelly found Harlow guilty on both conspiracy against rights and FACE Act violations, ruling that the latter constituted a "crime of violence," even though all participants in the October 2020 rescue action at the Washington Surgi-Clinic abortion facility—from which Harlow's charges stemmed—were committed to non-violence and behaved accordingly. (Image credit: LifeSiteNews /via LiveAction)

Harlow's eight previously convicted co-defendants—Jean Marshall, Jonathan DarnelJoan Andrews BellLauren HandyWill Goodman, John Hinshaw, Heather Idoni, and Herb Geraghty—were all incarcerated by Kollar-Kotelly pending sentencing, the date for which has not yet been set. This is due to a rule which requires immediate detention for those convicted of so-called "crimes of violence." 

However, in a somewhat surprising move, Judge Kollar-Kotelly chose to apply a narrow exception to that rule, and has permitted Harlow to remain on house arrest pending her sentencing, which is scheduled for March 19 at 10 am. Kollar-Kotelly stated that immediate incarceration would "pose so great a danger to [Harlow's] health" as to be unjust.

The terms of Harlow's house arrest dictate that she is only permitted to leave her home to travel to court hearings and for medical appointments and procedures; in the latter case, she is only permitted a travel radius of 25 miles. She is, at present, not permitted to attend church, although this might change if she is able to submit to the court a note from her doctor stating that church attendance does not pose a threat to her health.

Harlow has multiple health issues, including "debilitating diabetes, Hashimoto's disease, and severe back pain requiring the use of a wheelchair," according to LifeSiteNews. Harlow entered and exited the courtroom today in a wheelchair.

Like her currently incarcerated co-defendants, Harlow is facing up to 10 years in federal prison for the conspiracy against rights conviction, and another year for the FACE Act conviction, for a combined potential sentence of 11 years. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here