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Police arrest Will Goodman, Oct. 14, 2020.Red Rose Rescue

WHITE PLAINS, New York (LifeSiteNews) – A judge of the City Court of White Plains, New York attempted to get a Red Rose Rescuer to name those who had last given him money for food and fuel, according to one of the rescuers.

On Tuesday, March 21, Father Fidelis Moscinski, CFR, Matthew Connolly, and Will Goodman were forced to appear a second time before Judge John R. Collins Jr. at the White Plains City Courthouse for their ongoing refusal in conscience to pay all fines, fees, and state assessments.

The fines and assessment surcharges were imposed on the peaceful pro-lifers during sentencing last summer for their efforts to protect women and children from the ugly violence of abortion during a Red Rose Rescue at a White Plains abortion mill.

This second hearing on Tuesday was arranged after Collins, at the first hearing on February 2, ordered all three rescuers to pay their financial penalties, which they maintain are unjustly imposed, or return to court. During that February hearing, the judge attempted to throw the rescuers back in jail for not paying their fines despite having already sentenced them to the maximum sentence of 90 days, which they served.

At that time, attorney Steve Anduze argued that the judge had no legal right to imprison the rescuers again, which would take their imprisonment beyond the legal statutory limit. Hence, the handcuffs were removed from Fr. Fidelis while the officers surrounding Connelly and Goodman backed off.

RELATED: Lawyer’s quick thinking spares Red Rose Rescuers arrest, prison for not paying fines

“It is shocking that a judge would attempt to violate [New York] procedural law by illegally jailing prisoners of conscience beyond what the state of New York allows,” Connolly exclaimed at that time.

One onlooker commented that last Tuesday’s session at the city courthouse was “ridiculous,” and that Collins seemed “more like a prosecutor than a judge.”

The nearly two-hour hearing was punctuated by what pro-life observers characterized as numerous snide comments, bullying tactics, and obnoxious misrepresentations by the judge. He often said the rescuers had “no respect for the court,” even though they have always been respectful to the judge and court personnel, and have attended every hearing date, no matter how frivolous.

Collins spoke from his bench, asserting, “They put their belief system over the laws of New York,” as if the objective command “Thou shalt not kill” is some mere arbitrary personal “belief” of the rescuers.

Addressing the court, Anduze explained that Fr. Fidelis is a Catholic priest and, as a member of the clergy, has taken a vow of poverty.

However, Collins took no heed of what Father’s attorney said and claimed flatly that “Mr. [sic] Moscinski did not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court” and “thought he was above the law.”

Fr. Fidelis objected to this false statement and sought to correct the misrepresentation of the facts.

Collins interrupted and told him to speak to his attorney and not to him. Anduze conferred with Father and told the judge that “Fr. Fidelis maintains that he did not do anything wrong, and that he had no obligation to pay a fine. They are conscientious objectors. They were trying to save lives.”

In the first hearing, as at their sentencing, all three rescuers made it clear that they would not pay any fines since the punishments were unjust and their consciences forbade them from paying the state money for attempts to save lives.

The judge was aware that Fr. Fidelis lived a vow of poverty, but he had also asked if the other two rescuers had the funds to pay the fines. Connolly and Goodman explained that they were also unable to pay the fines because of their lack of personal finances, but even if they had the money they would not pay since it would be unjust.

In the second hearing, Collins provided both Connolly and Goodman an opportunity to make their case for financial indigency.

Anduze explained to the court that Connolly would not be speaking, thus maintaining solidarity with the unborn. Collins said he needed evidence that Connolly was legally indigent. Anduze then asked if there were any forms or documents with which Connolly could demonstrate his financial situation. But the judge would not provide this information and said that if Connolly did not speak, he would deny his request for indigency and not allot to him any deferments. Matthew remained silent throughout the entire proceeding.

RELATED: Priest, pro-lifers sentenced to three months in jail for counseling women inside abortion center

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UPDATE (03/07/23): Walgreens won't dispense abortion pills in 20 states

The pressure is paying off. Walgreens' plan to dispense abortion pills nationwide is now in tatters, with the pharmaceutical giant announcing that it won't mail the pills to, or sell them within, 20 states.

The news comes after 20 Republican attorneys general warned CVS and Walgreens that doing so would be in violation of federal law and that they were opening themselves to penalties.

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‘I do not have a home. I have a car that is 10 years old with about 200,000 miles on it and a number of dents.’

Will Goodman was then called to the witness stand. His indigency hearing began after he was sworn in, adding to the oath, ” … so help me God.”

Anduze asked Goodman if he was employed, to which he answered, “Yes, I work as a full-time freelance human rights activist, and I am a member of the Red Rose Rescue coalition.”

“Do you have any income or salary from this work?” Anduze continued.

“No, I do not.”

“Do you have a home?”

“No,” Goodman said. “I do not have a home. I have a car that is 10 years old with about 200,000 miles on it and a number of dents.”

Anduze also asked if Goodman had any other money, assets, compensation, stocks, or monetary holdings, etc. Will replied that he did not, apart from a small handful of money.

After these and a few other straightforward questions to establish indigency, the attorney finished his interview.

Next, the prosecutor began his inquiry, but he only asked a few more nominal questions building on the previous statements, including those about whether Goodman gets paychecks, if he stays with any friends or family in the area, and other questions about finances and annual income.

At this juncture, Goodman had to turn toward the bench as he was further interrogated by Judge Collins, who sought much greater details and personal information. For nearly a half an hour, the judge asked the rescuer about how he got to court, where he came from, how he could afford fuel and food, what his expenses were for the past months, where was he staying, if he had cash, what he spent money on, when the car last got serviced, who fixed the car, where he bought used tires, where he traveled, and so on, including questions about his state and federal tax filings back to 1996.

In a barrage of questions, Collins even sought to have Goodman account for each dollar he spent over the past couple months, meticulously writing down what the witness said and continually asking him to confirm the calculations.

Anduze objected to the judge’s line of questioning and argued that the witness had answered to the best of his abilities. He even had to defend Goodman’s legal rights as it pertained to the tax code and the fact that his annual income is well below the poverty line and what the law considers “reportable.”

“It was clear that the judge was acting like a second prosecutor and taking over the prosecutorial work of the district attorney’s office,” said one of the observers at the hearing.

‘So, who gave you the donation?’

At one point, Collins went so far as to ask Goodman the name of the person who gave him his last donation for food and fuel. Will said that he would not provide that information. The judge warned Goodman that he was under oath and must answer the question.

Again, Will said he would not answer.

Collins then directed Anduze to advise his client that he must answer the question or face potential legal penalties.

“Your Honor, he has told you about his finances and the amount of money that was given to him for expenses,” Anduze stated. “But he said he does not want to name names, [and] I don’t think that information is relevant at this hearing.”

Collins gave Goodman a steely-eyed look and said again: “So, who gave you the donation?”

“I am not going to say,” Will replied.

“So, you are not going to tell me. Why are you not answering my question?”

“Because of abuses by the federal government, particularly by the Justice Department,” Goodman said. “Unjust efforts to try and entrap people in false conspiracy charges. I don’t trust some of the people serving in government positions.”

“So, you are talking about your federal charge of violating the Freedom of Clinic Entrances Act and conspiracy charges?”

“Yes, anyone who helps me with food or a donation just so I can live has nothing to do with any of those unjust charges or any of this,” Goodman declared.

The judge continued his long line of questioning by asking Will about odd jobs, how much he makes, any cash he has deposited, where he works, and who pays. While the pro-life witness shared the amount of money he had received for the odd jobs he does to survive, he would not give the names or locations of anyone for whom he had worked.

“I got the sense while I was on the stand that the judge was deliberately trying to trap me,” Goodman stated after the hearing. “I felt like he wanted to trip me up in his prying questions, many of which were obvious misrepresentations of my comments, then try and set me up for additional criminal charges like contempt of court.”

“In February, the judge asked us if we were able to pay the fines,” Will continued, “to which we answered honestly ‘No,’ but we made it clear to Mr. Collins that we would not pay the fines anyway based upon principle. Today, he told me I still had to pay the fines, but now in smaller monthly increments. But it has been made very clear all along that we will not pay anyway, regardless of any payment plan. And Collins has even admitted that he knows this about all of us. Red Rose Rescue does not pay fines. He knows that. At this hearing today, it just seemed like the judge wanted to harass us.”

Throughout the afternoon’s proceedings, attorney Anduze kept reminding the judge that the court normally sets fines and assessments or surcharges to a civil judgement whenever an individual is unable to pay or will not pay in conscience. This is the standard process.

Judge Collins kept repeating his opinion that for the fines and costs to be moved to a civil judgment. there must be some type of record established.

Anduze argued several times that the testimony of the witnesses and their consistent commitment to their conscience is a sufficient record for the purposes of a civil judgment.

Collins claimed that this testimony was not sufficient and indicated that the rescuers must continue to report back to court and demonstrate that they have paid their fines and assessments/surcharges or make some kind of unspecified “record” that would please him.

“Your Honor, I am not sure what you are looking for, or what you want,” Anduze humbly confessed, multiple times.

Collins essentially ignored these comments and set a new date for the next fine hearing. He ordered three rescuers and their attorney to return yet again to the courthouse for the third fine hearing on July 21st at 2 p,m.

“By continually calling the rescuers back and back and back to court, this has now become like the song that never ends,” one legal observer at the hearing said.

According to sources close to the case, some District Attorney offices, the Attorney General’s Office for the State of New York, and the FBI have purchased the transcripts of this Red Rose Rescue trial and related hearings.

Another pro-life supporter in the courtroom Tuesday had this to add, summing up the hearing:

“I would just say as an observer that Judge Collins was trying to make it seem like he was ‘fair and justified’ when in reality he was just harassing Will under the guise of trying to find out if he was indigent. It got to the point of ridiculous! He was more like a prosecutor than a judge and seemed to be trying too hard to convince everyone he was being fair. But he is now just punishing the rescuers by having to go back to court over and over. It is absurd. This is just like his comment that the rescue was merely about ‘personal beliefs.’ Killing babies is not a belief, it’s a fact!”

Between now and July, the Red Rose Rescuers will be seeking additional legal advice from various pro-life attorneys and legal groups to help evaluate their next step.

The rescuers have asked to pro-lifers pray for the successful defense of life, and that all efforts be to God’s glory.