HOUSTON, June 14, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Houston prosecutors have dropped one of two charges faced by pro-life investigator David Daleiden, stemming from his investigation of Planned Parenthood.
County Court at Law Judge Diane Bull threw out a misdemeanor count of trafficking in human organs.
“Judge Diane Bull’s swift dismissal of the bogus charge against CMP founder David Daleiden of trafficking human organs is the latest confirmation that the indictments from a runaway grand jury in Houston were a politically motivated sham all along,” the Center for Medical Progress said in a statement.
“The dismissal of the first indictmen [on Monday] sends a strong message to Planned Parenthood and their political cronies that colluding to suppress the First Amendment rights of citizen journalists will never work.”
Daleiden and his fellow investigator, Sandra Merritt, offered officials at the Houston-based Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast (PPGC) money in exchange for human organs while posing as buyers for the fictitious human biologics company Biomax.
Judge Bull ruled yesterday that the indictment, returned by the Harris County Grand Jury on January 25, did not address an exception in the law. Since it did not conform to all necessary guidelines, she dismissed it.
Daleiden still faces charges of tampering with a government document, for using a false drivers license listing his name as “Robert Sarkis,” to gain access to PPGC facilities.
If convicted, he and Merritt could face up to 20 years in prison.
The Harris County grand jury had been prepared to investigate whether Planned Parenthood had broken the law by selling human organs for “valuable consideration,” a violation of state and federal law.
Instead, PPGC attorney Josh Schaeffer told the media he actively assisted the office in turning the case away from PPGC toward indicting Daleiden and Merritt.
“The DA's office has chosen to wage a war on the pro-life movement,” Daleiden's attorney, Jared Woodfill, told the Houston Chronicle. “We believe there is clear evidence of Planned Parenthood actually colluding with and pushing the district attorney's office to move forward with these indictments.”
In a court filing on May 17, District Attorney Devon Anderson admitted that her office had broken the law in its handling of the CMP case, but that the charges should proceed against the pro-life investigators anyway, because the DA office's lawbreaking was “minor and harmless.”
In Houston, the investigators shot video footage of the dissection of a 20-week-old aborted baby.
“As more details about Planned Parenthood’s contracts for aborted baby parts come to light, it’s clear that Planned Parenthood and their business partners like StemExpress are the ones who are guilty of trafficking in human body parts,” CMP said.