Judge throws out case against pro-life rescuers after gov’t witnesses fail to show
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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – In what pro-lifers are attributing to the hand of God, a Washington D.C. court has dismissed charges against four pro-lifers arrested in a July Red Rose Rescue.
The pro-life supporters and their attorney with Life Legal Defense Foundation (LLDF) were prepared for trial, when the charges of criminal trespass were promptly and unexpectedly dismissed due to there being no witnesses for the prosecution.
“Great victory in court today,” Citizens for a Pro-life Society (CPLS) Director Monica Migliorino Miller told supporters via email Thursday. “Charges dismissed against the 4 Red Rose Rescuers – Except for Divine Intervention – it really is inexplicable.”
Miller, who herself has been arrested taking part in Red Rose Rescues, was quoting one of the four defendants, Father Fidelis Moscinski, of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, on the dismissal of the charges.
"We were ready to stand up for the unwanted unborn in court--and with God's help, endure the court trial and the possible penalties for our act of defense for those scheduled for abortion,” said Father Moscinski. “But what a victory to have the charges dismissed against us. We are so encouraged by this.”
The four pro-lifers entered the Capital Women’s Services abortion center in Washington, D. C. the morning of July 24 to offer women information about abortion and alternatives, along with a red rose.
Entering the abortion facility with Father Moscinski was Father David Nix, a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver, William Goodman, who in June of this year had served a 34-day jail term for the December 2, 2017, Red Rose Rescue, and an unidentified female rescuer going by the name of Baby Jane Doe to be in solidarity with the nameless children who are aborted.
LLDF Attorney John Garza was prepared to present a necessity defense in the trial, citing the dangers to preborn children and women posed by the abortion facility.
Capital Women's Services is affiliated with Steven Brigham, a notorious late-term abortion doctor. Brigham has been charged with neglect and fraud in several states for gravely injuring women and was charged with the murder of ten second and third-trimester babies in Maryland, a news release from LLDF said.
The necessity defense can be used when a defendant's conduct is necessary to prevent a greater harm, LLDF said. In this case, Brigham's facilities are known to have a long record of egregious violations against women, including the death of at least one patient.
However, the judge unexpectedly called the Red Rose Rescue case first.
This was unusual, according to LLDF, because the courts usually opt to get through procedural and other less time-consuming matters before calling up trials such as the one involving the Red Rose Rescue.
LLDF reports that the judge asked the parties whether they were ready for trial, and U.S. Attorney Jana Maser, who was prosecuting the government’s case, replied that she was not ready, because she could not produce any witnesses.
The judge then asked Garza how he would like to proceed, and Garza requested a dismissal of all charges - which was immediately granted.
"This all took place in less than thirty seconds," Fr. Nix said.
Fr. Nix and the other rescuers had told Garza, "Because we were there to save lives, we would not accept any plea-bargain or community service."
"We are pleased with the outcome of today's trial," Life Legal Defense Foundation Executive Director Alexandra Snyder said in a statement. "The Red Rose Rescuers are heroes in the pro-life movement, willing to sacrifice their freedom to prevent women and babies from becoming victims of the abortion holocaust. We are honored to stand in their defense and in the defense of the dignity of human life."
This is the second time that pro-lifers who conducted a Red Rose Rescue at the Capital Women's Services abortion facility have faced no prosecution, CPLS said in a release. After a May 25 Red Rose Rescue at the same facility, four pro-lifers were released from jail without any charges filed against them.
Red Rose Rescues are happening again with more frequency after having fallen off for years.
The “Rescue” movement began during the early days of the pro-life movement, but was thwarted when then president Bill Clinton signed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, making it a federal crime to physically block women from obtaining abortions.
The Red Rose Rescue movement focuses on convincing pregnant women in line to have an abortion of their dignity, hence offering them the rose, and information. No one involved in the Red Rose Rescue has been charged with violating the FACE law.
Pro-abortion advocates have tried to paint the Red Rose Rescues as indicative of violence, misrepresenting them and other data to portray pro-lifers as violent, a charge those in the movement categorically deny.
Fr. Moscinski summed up the outcome of today’s trial as being the Lord’s doing.
“We entered that abortion center, we talked to the mom's, offered them roses and we stayed there to be in solidarity with the unwanted, innocent unborn--and now we have walked out of court!” he stated. “Except for divine intervention, it is inexplicable!"
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