FBI Agent: Source: FBI

3 Florida Residents Plead Guilty To Conspiracy Against Pregnancy Resource Centers

FBI Agent: Source: FBI
FBI Agent: Source: FBI

Three Florida residents have pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the civil rights of employees at pregnancy resource centers. Caleb Freestone, Amber Smith-Stewart, and Annarella Rivera admitted to their involvement in a series of targeted attacks on these centers, which provide counseling and support for abortion alternatives.

According to court documents, the trio engaged in a conspiracy between May and July 2022, vandalizing multiple pro-life facilities under the cover of darkness.

They spray-painted threatening messages on the buildings, including phrases like “If abortions aren’t safe than niether [sic] are you,” “YOUR TIME IS UP!!,” “WE’RE COMING for U,” and “We are everywhere.”

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The defendants’ actions were motivated by their opposition to the centers’ mission and their desire to intimidate employees and deter them from providing services. These actions not only violated the employees’ right to freely exercise their religion but also created a hostile environment for those seeking reproductive health services.

“These defendants vandalized pregnancy resource centers with threatening messages meant to terrify the employees of those centers,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Violence and threats have no place in the national discourse about reproductive rights. The Justice Department is committed to holding accountable those who seek to interfere with access to reproductive health services in our country, without regard to the point of view of the defendants or their victims.”

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“Federal law protects providers who render reproductive health care and those who seek their services,” said U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. “Neither should be subject to unlawful intimidation or threats of harm. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners in protecting access to reproductive health care and federally prosecuting those interfering with that right.”

The guilty pleas mark a victory for the Department of Justice’s efforts to combat acts of violence and intimidation against reproductive health service providers. The case serves as a stark reminder that everyone has the right to express their views and beliefs without fear of violence or harassment.

“The FBI works diligently to safeguard the civil rights of our citizens,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Rodney Crawford of the FBI Tampa Field Office. “We and our law enforcement partners will not tolerate those who conspire to attack facilities providing these lawful reproductive health services.”

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Sentencing for the three defendants is yet to be determined. The case was investigated by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, with assistance from local law enforcement agencies.

The convictions send a clear message that attacks on reproductive health centers will not be tolerated and that those who engage in such activities will be held accountable for their actions.

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