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Press Release

Five Defendants Convicted of Federal Civil Rights Conspiracy and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act Offenses for Obstructing Access to a Reproductive Health Services Facility

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Jury Finds Defendants Blocked Access to Clinic in Northwest D.C.

A federal jury convicted five defendants today of federal civil rights offenses in connection with a reproductive health care clinic invasion in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22, 2020. The defendants were each convicted of a felony conspiracy against rights and a Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act offense.

According to evidence presented at trial, Lauren Handy, 28, of Alexandria, Virginia; John Hinshaw, 67, of Levittown, New York; Heather Idoni, 61, of Linden, Michigan; William Goodman, 52, of Bronx, New York; and Herb Geraghty, 25, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and others, engaged in a conspiracy to blockade the reproductive health care clinic to prevent it from providing and patients from receiving, reproductive health services. 

The evidence at trial showed that Smith, Hinshaw, Idoni, Goodman, Geraghty and Handy traveled to Washington, D.C., from various states to participate in a clinic blockade that was directed by Handy and was broadcast on Facebook. The defendants conspired to and did forcefully enter the clinic and block access to the clinic using their bodies, furniture, chains and ropes. Once the blockade was established, footage of the activities was live-streamed. Evidence also showed that the defendants violated the FACE Act by using force and physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with the clinic’s employees and patients, because they were providing or obtaining reproductive health services.

The defendants each face up to a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $350,000.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia made the announcement.

The FBI Washington Field Office investigated the case. The FBI Field Offices in Newark, New York City, Boston and Detroit provided valuable assistance.

The Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia’s Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section are prosecuting the case. The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the District of New Jersey, District of Massachusetts, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of New York and Southern District of New York provided valuable assistance.

Updated August 29, 2023

Topic
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 23-934