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Jury Acquits Pro-Life Activist Mark Houck of Federal Assault Charges at Abortion Clinic

Jury Acquits Pro-Life Activist Mark Houck of Federal Assault Charges at Abortion Clinic

I also wondered what happened with the juror dismissed this morning. Houk’s attorney said the juror didn’t participate in the deliberations, so they brought in an alternate. An hour later…not guilty. Suspicious juror right there.

A Philadelphia jury acquitted Mark Houk, the devoted Catholic father of seven, of federal assault charges for supposedly shoving an abortion clinic volunteer.

Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Executive Vice President and Head of Litigation, said via email: “We are, of course, thrilled with the outcome. Mark and his family are now free of the cloud that the Biden administration threw upon them. We took on Goliath – the full might of the United States government – and won. The jury saw through and rejected the prosecution’s discriminatory case, which was harassment from day one. This is a win for Mark and the entire pro-life movement. The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”

Houck Trial: Post-Verdict Press Conference, January 30, 2023 from Thomas More Society on Vimeo.

I also wondered what happened with the juror dismissed this morning. Houk’s attorney said the juror didn’t participate in the deliberations, so they brought in an alternate. An hour late…not guilty.

Kind of suspicious, you know?

The alleged incidents occurred in October 2021 at a Planned Parenthood in Philadelphia. Witnesses said Houck tried to counsel women outside an abortion clinic, offering them help and support when a volunteer allegedly confronted Houck’s son.

The 72-year-old man allegedly threatened Houck’s 12-year-old son. Like any normal father, Houck rescued his son by pushing the volunteer away from his young son. The guy fell down:

On several occasions when Mark went to sidewalk counsel last year, he took his eldest son, who was only 12 at the time, she explained. For “weeks and weeks,” a “pro-abortion protester” would speak to the boy saying “crude … inappropriate and disgusting things,” such as “you’re dad’s a fag,” and other statements that were too vulgar for her to convey.

Repeatedly, Mark would tell this pro-abortion man that he did not have permission to speak to his son and please refrain from doing so. And “he kept doing it and kind of came into [the son’s] personal space” obscenely ridiculing his father. At this point, “Mark shoved him away from his child, and the guy fell back.”

“He didn’t have any injuries or anything, but he tried to sue Mark,” and the case was thrown out of court in the early summer.

The guy tried to sue Houck, but the state of Pennsylvania dropped the charges. What 72-year-old harasses and swears out a 12-year-old, especially one who wasn’t doing anything? Disgusting and vile behavior.

Find me a parent who doesn’t do everything they can to protect their child.

But to the shock of no one, Biden’s DOJ swooped in and charged Houck after domestic terrorists spent months destroying and vandalizing churches and pregnancy centers.

In September, 25-20 FBI agents raided Houck’s house and arrested him in front of his wife and children. They alleged he violated the  FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Act.

The way the FBI arrested him, you’d think he went on a murderous rampage:

According to his wife Ryan-Marie, who spoke with LifeSiteNews, he also drives two hours south to Philadelphia every Wednesday to sidewalk counsel for six to eight hours at two different abortion centers.

Ryan-Marie, who is a homeschooling mother, described how the SWAT team of 25 to 30 FBI agents swarmed their property with around 15 vehicles at 7:05 a.m. this morning. Having quickly surrounded the house with rifles in firing position, “they started pounding on the door and yelling for us to open it.”

Before opening the door, she explained, her husband tried to calm them, saying, “‘Please, I’m going to open the door, but, please, my children are in the home. I have seven babies in the house.’ But they just kept pounding and screaming,” she said.

When he opened the door, “they had big, huge rifles pointed at Mark and pointed at me and kind of pointed throughout the house,” Ryan-Marie described.

When they came in, they ordered the kids to stay upstairs. “Our staircase is open, so [the kids] were all at the top of the stairs which faces the front door, and I was on the stairs as well, coming down.”

“The kids were all just screaming. It was all just very scary and traumatic,” she explained.

After asking them why they were at the house, the agents said they were there to arrest Mark. When Ryan-Marie asked for their warrant, “they said that they were going to take him whether they had a warrant or not.”

WFMZ reported what the prosecution had to prove:

To find Houck guilty, the government needed to prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:

– that Houck intentionally pushed Love, causing him bodily injury.

– that Houck interfered with Love’s job as a reproductive healthcare worker.

– that Houck attacked Love specifically because he is a reproductive healthcare worker.

Reminder why the confrontation happened between Houck and the volunteer: The 72-year-old man harassed and expressed cruelty toward Houck’s 12-year-old son.

It had everything to do with protecting his son and nothing to do with the vile old man volunteering at an abortion clinic.


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So when will he be suing the DOJ and FBI?

I’m very glad to see this outcome. To the FBI and DoJ, GFY.

    Massinsanity in reply to Paddy M. | January 31, 2023 at 8:30 am

    So disheartening that not one FBI agent or supervisor had the backbone to stand up and say that what they were doing was so clearly wrong.

LibraryGryffon | January 30, 2023 at 4:28 pm

Was the 72yo actually providing “reproductive health care”? Because that appears to be the only people that law protects.

    The DOJ used the pretext that his volunteer “work” there was to walk and accompany clients entering and leaving the clinic – the idea being to prevent them from being intimidated by the AntiAbortion protestors.

    The jury apparently agreed that his “work” did not extend to harassing protestors, or their pre-teen kids.

    The law supposedly is to address the worst case scenario of having to walk a gauntlet of frothing-at-the-mouth idiots spraying spittle in their faces and violating their personal space to intimidate while calling them obscenities.

    Biden et Alia apparently figured the law was also a license to be a frothing-at-the-mouth idiot spraying spittle in protestor faces and violating their personal space to intimidate while calling them obscenities.

    Dolce Far Niente in reply to LibraryGryffon. | January 31, 2023 at 10:27 am

    No, the 72 year old man was a volunteer “escort” for women who actually were at the clinic to kill their babies.

I am so glad to see an acquittal here.

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to Othniel. | January 30, 2023 at 5:23 pm

    Anyone want to assume that the members of the jury will not be having difficulties with the IRS and other Federal agencies from now on?

    Subotai Bahadur

      On another site I read the jury was originally deadlocked. Then they came back and one of them changed their vote.
      No idea if it’s true or not.

        Mary Chastain in reply to 4fun. | January 30, 2023 at 10:19 pm

        I just updated the piece with the post conference video. The attorney addresses the issue. Pretty suspicious.

        Otto Kringelein in reply to 4fun. | January 31, 2023 at 9:18 am

        I suspect there was a pro-abortion juror that got onto the jury and was playing the “jury nullification” game. But in this case was attempting to force a “guilty” plea regardless of the facts of the case. And when this was found out they replaced them with an alternate that was impartial.

Justice served in this case.

Now let’s see Justice served on a suit against the DoJ.

    gospace in reply to PrincetonAl. | January 30, 2023 at 4:54 pm

    No, justice was not served in this case. Until the FBI agents who participated in the Soviet style political arrest are hunted down and…., justice hasn’t served.

    Matter of fact, a Russian who spent time in the gulag mentioned that.

    Olinser in reply to PrincetonAl. | January 30, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    They harassed him for years, had 20 agents arrest him in front of his screaming children, smeared his name, and forced him to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend himself in a slam-dunk acquittal.

    Justice was most certainly NOT served.

Unions, picketing a work site, routinely commit violence against anyone entering or exiting a work site, that’s OK, that’s “collective bargaining”.
But God forbid someone give someone else a dirty look when entering or exiting a Planned Parenthood infant incineration facility, then the 82nd Airborne is dropped to stop them.

This guy will certainly be testifying in the Jordan hearings.

“What 72-year-old harasses and swears out a 12-year-old, especially one who wasn’t doing anything?”
A Progressive “perpetual victim” planning on lawfare.
A great, big L for Merrick Garland.
Now, get off your ass and go arrest Jane’s Revenge, you fraud..

    Massinsanity in reply to henrybowman. | January 31, 2023 at 8:33 am

    According to the article, the 72 year old used the 3 letter F word. Isn’t that a hate crime?

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to Massinsanity. | January 31, 2023 at 4:58 pm

      Not when used by a Leftist. In fact, Leftists cannot commit hate crimes as they sanctify anything they do with the sacred god Marx.

      Subotai Bahadur

    M Poppins in reply to henrybowman. | January 31, 2023 at 8:37 am

    I’m prolife – but his 12 year old son shouldn’t have been there.

      BiteYourTongue in reply to M Poppins. | January 31, 2023 at 8:53 am

      Why not? The Dad was showing his son, that he values life, and will protect his own children. Dad isn’t just preaching his values, he’s demonstrating them. Besides, maybe the son wanted to be there with his dad, nothing like father and son bonding and shared experiences in the realities of life.

        This is a war of sorts. You shouldn’t take a child to the front. Mr. Houck should be praised for the courage and sacrifice of being there … himself, but not for putting his 12 year old in the line of fire.

      Concise in reply to M Poppins. | January 31, 2023 at 11:39 am

      No. I think you mean the 12 year old shouldn’t have been targeted for harassment.

E Howard Hunt | January 30, 2023 at 5:00 pm

The old man called Houck a fag. Hate crime! Got get him, Merrick!

goddessoftheclassroom | January 30, 2023 at 5:02 pm

We do in fact need a parting of the ways. We no longer have a United States of America. “Diversity” has been divisive. Let Each congressional district vote to stay with what is a shell of what was envisioned by our Founders or to go on to a renewal to what should be.

    No. The people who want their left wing, totalitarian state can get the f*ck out and leave the rest of us alone. We don’t need to change our system of government, they need to find another place to live.

    Too complicated, just divide up the states, They can have NY and California as starters, I’ll throw in MN, MI and possibly Illinois, though it’s really only Chicago that’s lost, maybe we cleave that off and attach it to MI.
    We have to keep some states on the West Coast, probably Washington, it’s a toss up

2smartforlibs | January 30, 2023 at 5:43 pm

In a sane world this would never have made court.

    tbonesays in reply to 2smartforlibs. | January 31, 2023 at 3:47 am

    I am wondering what judge failed to dismiss the charges.

    Otto Kringelein in reply to 2smartforlibs. | January 31, 2023 at 9:24 am

    In a sane world we wouldn’t have a federal law on the books that specifically protects abortion facilities (won’t call them clinics because they aren’t clinics) that is used to terrorize innocent people for their beliefs. But there you go and here we are.

The case was won, but the process was the punishment.

The corrupt political hacks who run and staff the DOJ have succeeded in their mission of intimidation. This good and innocent man, and his family, have been put through Hell.

The swinish thugs behind this persecution have sent their message. You may burn pro-life counseling centers and defile churches with impunity, but if you dare to oppose the murder of unborn children, the full weight of the federal government may be dropped on you.

The DOJ is utterly corrupted and beyond salvation. It must be disbanded and it’s functions split up into smaller agencies, with much more limited functions and with far more stringent control by Congress.

From aceofspadeshq

“There’s a little mystery here: The jury was reportedly “deadlocked” just a few days ago. Note that does not mean there was a tie; one holdout can deadlock a jury in a criminal case, which requires unanimous verdicts.

One juror was kicked out of the jury and then suddenly the jury votes unanimously for acquittal.

Catholic News Agency:

One of the 12 jurors deciding the fate of the pro-life father of seven Mark Houck in Philadelphia federal court has been replaced by an alternate.
The alternate took the place of the original juror at approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday, when deliberations began again. Defense lawyers for Houck could not comment on the reason for the replacement.

The jury began deliberations on the case on Friday but said they were “deadlocked” and would not come to a decision that night.

Was that juror the one holdout? And why was he kicked off the jury? You don’t get kicked off just for disagreeing with the majority, obviously; that would defeat the whole point of requiring unanimous verdicts.

No, he must have been kicked off for bringing in evidence not presented at trial or saying something like “I don’t care what the facts are, we have to convict him to send a message on abortion rights.” Something like that, were he is clearly acting outside the instructions given to him by the judge.“

    Mary Chastain in reply to gonzotx. | January 30, 2023 at 10:21 pm

    I added the press conference where the attorney addresses it. I didn’t say anything until I heard it from the attorney because it is so suspicious.

    Otto Kringelein in reply to gonzotx. | January 31, 2023 at 9:30 am

    Defense lawyers for Houck could not comment on the reason for the replacement.

    Why not? How did this juror get on the jury. What actually happened. Will this juror be sanctioned in any manner for their behavior? What was the ultimate goal of this holdout juror. Was this juror a government plant to attempt to get a guilty plea. Again, will this juror be sanctioned for their obvious attempts at jury nullification.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

Unfortunately…at least 12 more pro-life activists are still facing the wrath of Garland…

The Gentle Grizzly | January 30, 2023 at 6:50 pm

I am very pleased with this decision. I know this will surprise many here, but, it does.

On Friday it was announced the jury was deadlocked. It was reported that on Monday the judge along with the defense and prosecutor privately interviewed each juror. It was decided that one juror was to be replaced by an alternate. Only afterwards was a verdict issued. Think the justice department might appeal?

    TheOldZombie in reply to rotsaruck. | January 30, 2023 at 8:44 pm

    The government can never appeal a not guilty verdict. Once you’re found not guilty that’s the end of the line for everyone in the case.

    And given what you wrote that the judge, defense, and prosecution spoke to each individual juror before kicking the one juror off the panel indicates that one juror did something so egregious during the deliberations that the juror had to be removed.

this was a victory for fathers protecting their innocent children–admire houck’s restraint–the aggressor tried to play the ” little old man ” card and was reminded in short order that grown men (young or old) don’t harass innocent children

When Ryan-Marie asked for their warrant, “they said that they were going to take
him whether they had a warrant or not.”

lord–in the united states of america in the 21st century and from a group of heavily armed men to a father (with a wife and seven children in the house) who pushed an obnoxious old man away from his innocent son–unbelievable

    Dathurtz in reply to texansamurai. | January 31, 2023 at 6:29 am

    That’s why I am confused when people expect these people to ever do the right thing. If you are willing to do a raid like this, then what won’t you do?

    M Poppins in reply to texansamurai. | January 31, 2023 at 8:42 am

    I am pro-life, but children don’t belong at protests.

      Otto Kringelein in reply to M Poppins. | January 31, 2023 at 9:35 am

      I am a pro-life person, but 72 years-old perverted men do not need to be yelling obscenities at a 12 years-old children. Or any children no matter where they are situated.

    Temujin in reply to texansamurai. | February 1, 2023 at 7:23 am

    I agree with everything you said, but notwithstanding all of that, the old man, and the government “got away with it.”

Yet another political prosecution….

Totalitarianism is a game you cannot elect not to play. You can’t hide from it. You cannot impress totalitarians by showing them how YOU refuse to compromise your libertarian principles. There are no cease-fires, no safe areas, no holy ground where swords cannot be drawn.

— John Hayward (@Doc_0) January 30, 2023

Libertarians and small-government conservatives may not like it, but the cold truth is that reforming a titanic mega-government is impossible without amassing and using State power. You have to play the game, and play to win. Your adversaries most certainly do.

— John Hayward (@Doc_0) January 30, 2023

You have to play the game at every level, too. It’s important to organize at the local level and win state and county races, but that doesn’t count for much in the long run if the gigantic central government is wholly run by aggressive totalitarian statists.

— John Hayward (@Doc_0) January 30, 2023

Totalitarian ideologies prosper by exploiting the natural desire of dissidents to be left alone. They don’t like win-at-all-costs politics. They fear corruption. They aren’t looking to impose their views on others by force. They’re focused on family and individual achievement.

— John Hayward (@Doc_0) January 30, 2023

But totalitarians LOVE all of those things. They absolutely do want to impose their views on others by force, and they do whatever it takes to amass the government and corporate power to do so. They laugh as the desire to be left alone gives them isolated targets to pick off.

— John Hayward (@Doc_0) January 30, 2023

So the FBI shows up at a house containing 7 unarmed people of which 7 are children armed with assault weapons of war all to arrest a non-violent man? And there are people in the USA who don’t understand why ordinary citizens need to have AR-15 rifles?

The FBI accomplished its mission…Houck, has no doubt been intimidated to the point that he will never go near another abortion clinic for fear the next swat team will come in firing, and oh yes, he now has big dollar legal fees to content with

“The Biden Department of Justice’s intimidation against pro-life people and people of faith has been put in its place.”

Maybe, in this single instance, but for how long. Joe Biden and his execrable AG have ZERO regard for The Constitution of The United States and the oath they have all sworn to uphold and defend it.

Even the agents sent to arrest this man should be ashamed to show their faces in public let along accept the money they are being paid as henchmen for this despicable administration and its unconstitutional application of force against citizens who are exercising their Constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The ‘old man’ (I’m 74 and I’m far from ‘old’) that was haranguing this minor child should have been charged with assault. Had any person ever assaulted my son in that fashion he would have ‘fallen down’ NUMEROUS times to the point he would have difficulty getting up at all.

    M Poppins in reply to Romeg. | January 31, 2023 at 8:46 am

    why would you expose your minor child to that possibility? I thought it was only narcissistic leftists who dragged their offspring to protests, and then got outraged if harm befell them.

I’m happy with the outcome, but, it’s disgraceful that dotard Biden’s DOJ and the execrable AG Garland actually arrested and prosecuted this poor man.

Steven Brizel | January 31, 2023 at 8:33 am

This was a politically ,motivated prosecution to gain favor with the woke base of theDemocratic party by a weaponized DOJ against a dissenting perspective. Obviously the jury saw no prroof ofa criminal violation proved beyond a reasonable doubt and acquitted even in avery liberal venue

BiteYourTongue | January 31, 2023 at 9:24 am

A pox on the house of Biden. These actions by the FBI and DOJ, clearly demonstrate. how little they care about the rule of law, let alone common sense and the value of life.

One item (among numerous other items) is why the judge didnt dismiss the charges at the outset or at least dimiss the charges after the prosecution rested. virtually zero basis for the charges based on the facts in the case.

The Judge is also at fault in the case.

He’s lucky.

In the UK you can be arrested and charged with intimidation for standing on your own in the street near an abortion clinic praying silently.

I think an important piece of evidence in the case was an email sent by the Planned Parenthood CEO that said, “I think the best option is for Bruce to not serve as an escort at any of our locations while this case is in litigation…he has been spoken to on numerous occasions about our nonengagement policy – and he continues to disregard it. Despite his commitment, I think he needs to be removed from the rotations.”

Apparently, the alleged victim Bruce Love repeatedly violated Planned Parenthood policies against engagement with Pro-Life protestors. That blew his credibility out the window. Also the fact that Houck was across the street from Planned Parenthood, and Bruce Love crossed the street to approach Houck.

BierceAmbrose | January 31, 2023 at 4:26 pm

Yeah, he’s acquitted. BUT the process was the punishment, was it not?

    as with Trump, YES!

    There’s the point. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or not done if the Federal government can sweep in at gunpoint, throw you in jail for years, and haul you off for trial in a location where they can guarantee the outcome they want regardless of the validity of the charges. Thankfully, he managed to get a trial outside of the typical DC jury pool, but he’s still facing millions of dollars worth of legal fees and no guarantee the Feds won’t just scoop him up and do this all over again on something fractionally different.