The two anti-abortion activists who secretly filmed Planned Parenthood and then made fake videos implicating them in a baby parts selling ring will finally get what’s coming to them, as California prosecutors have slapped them HARD with 15 felonies.
On Tuesday, State Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced that he was bringing charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt who, according to The Associated Press, “filmed 14 people without permission between October 2013 and July 2015 in Los Angeles, San Francisco and El Dorado counties. One felony count was filed for each person. The 15th was for criminal conspiracy to invade privacy.”
AG Becerra stated that the pair set up Planned Parenthood by creating a fictitious biomedical research company in order to get a meeting with the organizations’ representatives and then filmed them without their knowledge.
Daleiden, of course, denies any wrongdoing and stated that the charges were “bogus” and were only a result of Planned Parenthood’s “political cronies” out to get him. “The public knows the real criminals are Planned Parenthood and their business partners,” Daleiden said. Sure.
Last April, Daleiden posted on Facebook that California Department of Justice agents had raided his home and seized all of his video footage as well as personal information. (As if HE were the victim.)
Since that “raid” not much has been heard about the case, so Daleiden and Merritt probably thought they were in the clear until charges were filed by Becerra on Tuesday in San Francisco’s Superior Court.
The pair had been indicted in Texas on similar charges last year, but in July a judge overturned that indictment, which is not surprising from the ultra-conservative, pro-life state.
That charge, tampering with a government record, was related to using a fake driver’s license to gain access to meetings with Planned Parenthood officials.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office pointed to legal limitations on what the grant jury could investigate after its time was extended.
A string of state investigations have found no wrongdoing or evidence that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit, as the videos alleged.
Planned Parenthood responded to the charges filed Tuesday saying that they send a “clear message.”
As we have said from the beginning, and as more than a dozen different state investigations have made clear: Planned Parenthood has done nothing wrong, and the only people who broke the law are those behind the fraudulent tapes,” Interim Vice President of Communications Mary Alice Carter said in a statement. “The California Attorney General filing criminal charges sends a clear message that you cannot target women and you cannot target health care providers without consequences. We look forward to justice being served.”
So do we. It’s about time!
Featured image via Getty/Eric Kayne