Man pleads guilty to federal charges after breaking windows, destroying property at Planned Parenthood clinic

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FILE - court(WCJB)
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 4:15 PM PDT
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EUGENE Ore. (KPTV) - After twice smashing windows and damaging property at a Planned Parenthood facility in Grants Pass, Oregon because the facility offers reproductive health care, a man from Oregon entered a guilty plea in federal court on Monday.

Devin Friedrick Kruse, 27, entered a guilty plea to two charges of breaching the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.

“The Justice Department will not tolerate unlawful and violent conduct that interferes with the work of reproductive health clinics,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This conviction should send a strong message that we will use federal civil rights law to protect clinics and staff that provide reproductive health services while safeguarding the rights of their patients.”

“The First Amendment does not allow individuals to violate the civils rights of others. In this case, Mr. Kruse’s destructive and intimidating acts prevented women from accessing vital reproductive and pregnancy health services,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.

“Citizens have a legal right to peacefully protest, but Mr. Kruse’s actions of repeated violence toward a Planned Parenthood clinic crossed a line,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “The FBI will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our communities while respecting individuals’ First Amendment rights.”

According to court documents, on November 23, 2021, Kruse broke five security cameras, a window, and a sign at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grants Pass. Three days later, on November 26, 2021, Kruse returned and threw a concrete block through the clinic’s window, tore down an intercom system, and broke several light bulbs. Kruse later admitted to damaging the facility because he was angry at Planned Parenthood for providing abortion services.

Kruse was charged on February 24, 2022, with two counts of breaking the FACE Act.

According to the FACE Act, first-time property destruction charges are charged as misdemeanors and can result in up to a year in federal prison. The charges for subsequent infractions are felonies.

On January 5, 2023, U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken will sentence Kruse.

Kruse agreed to pay the full amount of restitution to Planned Parenthood as specified by the government and mandated by the court as part of his plea deal.