Skip to main content
Press Release

New York Man Pleads Guilty to Violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Jay Smith, 32, of Freeport, New York, pleaded guilty today to a criminal information charging him with a felony violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in connection with the Oct. 22, 2020, invasion of a reproductive health care clinic in Washington, D.C.

Smith was indicted with nine others (Lauren Handy, Jonathan Darnel, Paulette Harlow, Jean Marshall, John Hinshaw, Heather Idoni, William Goodman, Herb Geraghty and Joan Bell), all of whom were charged with conspiracy against rights and FACE Act offenses in creating a blockade at a reproductive health care clinic to prevent it from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services. Smith pleaded guilty to a charge that he used force and physical obstruction to intentionally injure, intimidate, and interfere with a nurse and other employees of the reproductive health clinic because of the services being offered. The charge further alleges that Smith’s conduct resulted in bodily injury to the clinic nurse.

A felony violation of the FACE Act carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled a sentencing hearing for Aug. 7.

The FBI Washington Field Office investigated the case. The FBI Pittsburgh Field Office provided valuable assistance.

The Civil Rights Division's Criminal Section and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia’s Fraud, 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; and FBI Field Offices in Newark, New York City, Boston and Detroit provided valuable assistance.

Updated March 2, 2023

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 23-229