Trespassing charges have been dropped against a pro-life Anglican priest who regularly prays outside of an abortion facility in California.
Father James Linton was arrested in November outside the San Bernardino Planned Parenthood while he was praying for women and babies entering the facility, according to Life Legal Defense Foundation, which represented him in the matter. Police later charged him with criminal trespassing.
Life Legal Defense Foundation described Linton’s arrest as “unjust,” and said prosecutors did not have a case against him. They said Linton stayed on the public sidewalk and never stepped onto the abortion facility’s property.
Now, prosecutors have dropped the charges against him, One News Now reports.
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Life Legal attorney Alexandra Snyder said prosecutors initially tried to bargain with them, offering to drop the charges if Linton agreed to a stay-away order; but they refused.
Here’s more from the report:
“We thought that that would be an infringement obviously on his First Amendment right to be on that public sidewalk,” she tells OneNewsNow, adding that agreeing to the stay-away order “in some ways would have been an admission of some kind of wrongdoing – and there was no wrongdoing involved here.”
As the case came closer to a court date, Snyder says prosecutors dropped the charge because there was no case.
According to Snyder, the six-month ordeal didn’t deter Linton from continuing to help women. He took his usual spot to offer to pray for women and hand them pro-life information, hoping to convince them to give their child life.
In a video online, Linton celebrated the decision and thanked Life Legal for defending him and unborn babies.
Allison Aranda, senior staff counsel for Life Legal, said Linton was inspired to begin helping women and babies outside the abortion clinic after he saw the undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress that exposed Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of aborted babies’ body parts.
“The combination of seeing abortion victims sorted through for parts and my wife being pregnant destroyed me,” Linton said. “She organized a protest and I’ve been in front of the clinic every Friday since.”
The San Bernardino abortion clinic where they do outreach aborts unborn babies up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.