AbortionThu Feb 24, 2011 - 1:26 pm EST
Kansas judge testifies ‘probable cause’ existed to investigate criminal PP activity: Kline Hearings
TOPEKA, Kansas, February 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Judge Richard Anderson took the stand Wednesday in the ethics trial against former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, testifying that he believed “probable cause” existed for Kline to open up an investigation into Planned Parenthood and George Tiller’s alleged illegal failures to report the sexual abuse of children.
Anderson, a Shawnee County district judge for 13 years, said Kline filed an application to open an inquisition on the abortion providers in fall 2003. The Kansas capital Topeka is located in Shawnee county.
“I was chief judge at the time, and was duly assigned at that time,” Anderson told Kline’s legal counsel Reid Holbrook.
He said the Kline investigation began over “failure to report child abuse” by Comprehensive Health Planned Parenthood (CHPP) and George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care (WHC) abortion clinic.
“Essentially the mandatory child abuse reports hadn’t been made,” he said.
The application report with the evidence was prepared by Kline’s chief investigator, Tom Williams. Later trial testimony that day established that Williams was an expert investigator with 31 years of experience as a US agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Treasury Department, including investigating organized crimes, drugs, white-collar crime, and public corruption.
Anderson testified that Williams had presented to him a serious problem: the abortion records on file with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) on underage girls did not match up with child rape reports filed with Social and Rehabilitative Services (SRS).
The judge said that Williams needed more information in order to account for the “disparity,” and so Anderson granted his request to subpoena SRS for more information.
On May 26, 2004 Anderson also granted the request of Stephen Maxwell, Kline’s chief prosecutor in the AG office, to subpoena the names of the abortion providers making the reports: later identified as Comprehensive Health Planned Parenthood in Overland Park, Johnson County and George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care Services abortion clinic in Wichita.
Evidence entered into the trial later that afternoon showed that in the period 2001-2003, just four reports of sexual abuse of children were filed by abortion providers in 249 abortion cases with girls under 15 years old. During 2002-2003 alone, there were 166 abortions on girls under 15 years old. Earlier testimony on Tuesday from Phill Kline revealed that among the 166 abortions, CHPP and Tiller had each reported just one case of child rape.
Anderson said he was going to subpoena CHPP and WHCS on the basis of “reasonable suspicion”, but instead decided that the evidence fulfilled the higher standard of “probable cause” of criminal wrongdoing, required for a search warrant.
Maxwell approached Anderson about getting a search warrant instead of a subpoena. Anderson said that while the evidence met the burden of proof for a finding of “probable cause”, he told Maxwell that getting a search warrant would be unwise for the inquisition, and could disrupt the privacy of patients at the clinics. He said Maxwell later considered this, and came back instead with a subpoena with the “probable cause” finding on it.
Anderson said he signed this subpoena with the “probable cause” finding, although it was much higher than the threshold of “reasonable suspicion”. The Kansas Supreme Court in later litigation instructed him to revise the original subpoena, and reissue it with the probable cause finding instead.