PA Pro-Lifer Exonerated—Hung Jury’s Further Deliberation Leads to Innocent Verdict

A hung jury was the result of a hearing in federal court of a pro-life Pennsylvania man on Friday, January 27 in the case United States of America v. Mark Houck. U.S. District Judge Gerard Pappert requested the jury take the weekend and then return Monday, January 30 at 9:30 A.M. to reconsider. After further deliberations, the hung jury found Mark Houck innocent of phony FACE Act violations. The Thomas More Society and Brian McMonagle defended Mr. Houck.

It’s disconcerting to think that pro-life people have to defend themselves from phony charges from the federal government simply because they differ from the extreme abortion ideology of the Biden Administration. An attempted conviction of a peaceful, devoted husband and father of seven children could have resulted in 11 years in prison.

In October 2021, Mark Houck, defending his 12-year-old son from a threatening and verbally abusive pro-abortion activist, pushed a Planned Parenthood volunteer out of his son’s personal space after the activist followed the Houck’s away from where the confrontation began. Initial allegations brought against Houck in a previous court were thrown out. One year later, during the hotly contested mid-term elections, the DOJ resurrected the closed case in order to indict Houck on FACE Act violations. Acting outside of protocol, the FBI performed a dawn, SWAT-like raid on Mark Houck’s Pennsylvania home.

Houck’s arrest came just three days after CEO of firebombed pro-life medical office CompassCare, Rev. Jim Harden, stated that a politicized DOJ and FBI’s next step after abdicating their duty to investigate nationwide organized hate crimes against Christian, pro-life people would be to go on the attack, engaging in character assassination. This would include painting peaceful pro-lifers as violent to fit a pro-abortion political narrative. Rev. Harden insists, “Both the SWAT raids of Houck and others by the FBI along with the phony FACE Act indictments by the DOJ make a mockery of the justice system. The jurors finding for innocence are heroes for the Houck family and justice for all.” Harden went on to rebuke the Department of Justice, “Thankfully, the jury has come to a correct unanimous verdict of innocent. It is irresponsible for Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Attorney Sanjay Patel to continue abusing the resources of the justice system by attacking peaceful pro-life people who simply seek the protection of all lives equally.”

Rev. Harden, the author of Ethical Theory and Pertinent Standards in Women’s Reproductive Health, continues, “Pro-abortion politicians seem to be treating the justice system like a legal buffet, picking and choosing when and how to apply laws for their own political gain. Why is the DOJ taking resources that could otherwise be used to expose, apprehend, and indict those engaging in and covering up serial sex crimes to prosecute innocent people who are attempting to protect women from organizations that will further victimize them and help their abusers evade justice? Instead, pro-abortion politicians are using the law as a bludgeon, attempting to crush the lives of men and women like Mark Houck whose only crime is believing that all people are equally valuable. The charges against Houck should have been laughed out of court. Pray for all the other 25 peaceful pro-life Christians persecuted by their government in 2022 through fake FACE Act violations.

Help CompassCare expand to reach and serve even more women seriously considering abortion in NY and across the United States.

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