Wisconsin Court May Not Hold Second Hearing in Forced Abortion Money Case

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Wisconsin Court May Not Hold Second Hearing in Forced Abortion Money Case

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 3
, 2008

Appleton, WI (LifeNews.com) — A Wisconsin court may not hold a second hearing in the request of a woman to receive part of the bond money her boyfriend forfeited because her attorney hasn’t filed the appropriate legal papers with the court. The case involves Darshana Patel, 39, who received a spiked drink from her boyfriend Manishkumar Patel, who laced it with a dangerous abortion drug to try to cause her baby’s death.

Manish Patel, no relation to Darshana, appears to have fled the country back to his native India after posting $750,000 in bond that he raised from friends, family and businesses associates.

In March, Outagamie County Circuit Judge John Des Jardins held a hearing where six relatives showed they are suffering a financial hardship because they lent Patel five-figure sums of money to go towards his bail.

In May, Judge Jardins held a hearing into a request from Darhana to receive part of the bond money. Darshana’s attorney, former state attorney general Peg Lautenschlager, said Darshana should receive some of the bond money because of security measures she’s had to take to protect herself with Manish on the lam.

The judge agreed to give her nearly $6,200 but held off on providing other funds because of further paperwork needed to make the rest of the expenses part of the court record. He set a date of July 8 for a second hearing on the matter.

The Appleton Post-Crescent newspaper indicated Wednesday that the second restitution hearing may not take place and cited a memo from the Outagamie County district attorney’s office indicating Lautenschlager hasn’t filed the follow-up paperwork.

"The court gave (Darshana Patel’s attorney Peg) Lautenschlager until June 16, 2008, to file a brief with supporting documentation and then gave the state until June 30, 2008, to respond," Assistant Dist. Atty. Melinda Tempelis wrote in the memo. "As of today’s date, the state has not received any filings."

The paper said neither Tempelis nor Lautenschlager was available for comment on the matter.

In January, Judge Jardins ruled Manish Patel has given up the rights associated with the bail money. There is still no information on Manish Patel’s whereabouts.

Criminal charges in connection with the case will stay open until he returns or is extradited back to the United States to face trial. He has been charged with attempted first-degree homicide of an unborn child, six other felonies and two misdemeanors.

He is accused of obtaining the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug from India and putting it in Darshana’s drink. Officials say Patel has attempted to contact Darshana repeatedly since fleeing.

Darshana never drank the concoction but turned it over to authorities after suspecting foul play. Tests revealed the presence of the mifepristone abortion drug.

The first crime is a result of a law pro-life advocates pushed for to provide protection and justice for pregnant women and their unborn children when they are victims of attack.

Wisconsin’s Fetal Homicide Law was enacted in 1998.

The law recognizes unborn children as separate victims when they are killed or injured as the result of violence directed toward the unborn child’s mother or the unborn child by a third party. The law applies regardless of the gestational age of the unborn child.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, 36 states recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn child as homicide in at least some circumstances. Some 26 of those laws protect pregnant women and their unborn children throughout pregnancy and another 10 offer justice only after viability.

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