LiveAction: 'Witness testimony begins in FACE Act trial of second set of pro-life defendants'

Joan Andrews Bell. Jonathan Darnell, Jean Marshall

 By Bettina di Fiore - Posted at LiveAction News:

Published September 11, 2023

Today marked the first day of witness testimony in the trial against three pro-life activists – Joan Andrews Bell, Jonathan Darnel, and Jean Marshall – who were indicted for their participation in an October 2020 rescue action at the D.C.-based Washington Surgi-Clinic (WSC), which is run by abortionist Cesare Santangelo. They are charged with conspiracy against rights and a FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act offense.

The day’s proceedings were remarkably similar to early proceedings in the trial against the five previous defendants who were indicted in connection with the same rescue action – Lauren Handy, Heather Idoni, John Hinshaw, Will Goodman, and Herb Geraghty.

Government attorney Sanjay Patel – who has written a treatise on using the FACE Act (which these defendants are accused of violating) as a weapon against what he terms “anti-abortion extremism” – opened with a statement that was almost identical to his opening comments in the previous trial. The government called the same first three witnesses in the same order as it did during the last trial. The presiding judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, is the same; the trial is even being held in the same courtroom.

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