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(LifeSiteNews) — On Friday September 23, 2022, LifeSiteNews broke the story that 25 FBI agents raided the home of Catholic pro-life speaker and author Mark Houck with guns drawn as his seven children watched “screaming.”
Over the weekend, LifeSite’s report went viral with no less than two dozen media organizations repeating the story and citing LifeSiteNews.
Brian Middleton, spokesperson for the Houck family, provided an exclusive update to LifeSiteNews editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen on Monday.
Middelton told LifeSiteNews that while Houck was released Friday afternoon, not long after the raid, his family is understandably still feeling traumatized, and are having difficulty finding legal assistance, which he and the Houcks had spent much of this past weekend trying to do.
In light of these events, LifeSite is launching a petition to support Mark Houck and his family during this terrible ordeal.
UPDATE (01/30/23): Mark Houck has been AQUITTED on both charges!
Thanks be to God LifeSiteNews can report that Mark Houck has been found "Not Guilty" on all counts today.
In a statement to LifeSiteNews, Pro-Life Coalition of Pennsylvania spokeswoman and Houck family friend Ashley Garecht said “We rejoice and celebrate that Mark Houck has been found not guilty on all counts.”
“This case was always about a father’s right to protect his son, and never had anything to do with the FACE act,” she said. “We are grateful to the judge for his integrity, and to the jurors for their thoughtful deliberations. We are grateful to Mark’s attorneys who labored so diligently in his defense. And we are grateful for all of those who surrounded and supported Mark and his family in prayer through this challenging ordeal.”
“Most of all we praise and thank God for his protection and provision,” Garecht added. “To Him be all the glory.”
The Thomas More Society is set to hold a press conference today on the 6th street side of the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia.
Monday’s verdict came after a tense weekend wait following a deadlocked jury on Friday.
Several hours into Monday’s deliberations after the jury reconvened, an alternate was chosen to replace one of the jurors. Just before 3:00 p.m. EST, the jury delivered its verdict, acquitting Houck on both charges.
Mark Houck, a pro-life Catholic father of 7, became the latest victim of an FBI raid and arrest on the morning of Friday September 23 — for supposed “FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act” violations — at his rural home as his children looked on “screaming.”
The arrest and raid stems from an altercation with a Planned Parenthood worker.
According to Mark’s wife Ryan-Marie, a “pro-abortion protester” would verbally harrass Mark's 12-year old son — hurling vulgar and derogatory statements.
When the protestor encroached in the boy's space, Mark defended his son. At that point, “Mark shoved him away from his child, and the guy fell back,” Ryan-Marie recounts.
The protestor was not injured, but he tried to sue Mark Houck for the assault but his case was thrown out of court in the early summer.
WE CANNOT ALLOW THE LEFT TO HARRASS PRO-LIFE ADVOCATES THIS WAY!
It's vital to stand in solidarity with a pro-family and pro-life man being unjustly persecuted - please SIGN & SHARE our message of support now.
In case you hadn't caught on already, the satanic Biden administration is waging war on Christians. https://t.co/E6ChpZVDYW— Michael (X) Knowles ✊ (@michaeljknowles) September 24, 2022
The description of this arrest sounds like it took place in a totalitarian state. A tragic unraveling of Justice in America. https://t.co/e3vEID7E39— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) September 25, 2022
If convicted, Houck faces up to a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000, according to the Justice Department.
Additional conservative pro-life leaders have weighed in — this is why we need your support ASAP.
“Just in the last few days we’ve seen some pretty glaring examples of what appear to be instances of DOJ [Department of Justice] overreach. You’ve got a Catholic father of seven who formed a group designed to encourage young men to be faithful to their commitments, arrested in front of his seven children just recently. You’ve got all these instances of overreach. It’s deeply concerning to us all. These are all things we’re gonna be looking into.” — US Senator Mike Lee
Tell the Houck family that you stand by them!
SIGN: We stand with pro-life Catholic dad of 7 raided by Biden’s FBI
Please share this petition widely. Let's stand in solidarity with Mark Houck and his family.
As explained in the petition:
- Mark Houck, a pro-life Catholic father of 7, became the latest victim of an FBI raid and arrest on the morning of Friday September 23 — for supposed FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act violations — at his rural Pennsylvania home as his children looked on “screaming.”
- The arrest and raid stemmed from an altercation with a Planned Parenthood worker last year.
- According to Mark’s wife Ryan-Marie, a “pro-abortion protester” repeatedly verbally harassed Mark’s 12-year old son — hurling vulgar and derogatory statements at the boy.
- When the protestor encroached in the boy’s space, Mark defended his son by shoving the man away from his child.
- The uninjured “protestor” had already brought the incident before the court, with a judge ultimately dismissing the case.
- If convicted, Houck faces up to a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000, according to the Justice Department.
LifeSite encourages everyone to share this petition widely and stand in solidarity with Mark Houck and his family.