Ohio Woman Pleads Guilty to Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act Violation for Damaging Pregnancy Center
An Oregon man pleaded guilty today after twice breaking windows and destroying property at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grants Pass, Oregon, because the clinic provides reproductive health services.
Devin Friedrick Kruse, 27, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of violating 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,” said U.S. Attorney Natalie Wight for the District of Oregon. “In this case, Mr. Kruse’s destructive and intimidating acts prevented women from accessing vital reproductive and pregnancy health services.”
“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 Special Agent in Charge Kieran L. Ramsey 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 Nov. 23, 2021, Kruse broke five security cameras, a window, and a sign at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grants Pass. Three days later, on Nov. 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 killing unborn children.
On Feb. 24, 2022, Kruse was charged by misdemeanor criminal information with two counts of violating the FACE Act.
Misdemeanor violations of the FACE Act are punishable by up to one year in federal prison. Kruse will be sentenced on Jan. 5, 2023 by U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken.
As part of his plea agreement, Kruse has agreed to pay restitution in full to Planned Parenthood as identified by the government prior to sentencing and ordered by the court.
The FBI investigated the case with assistance from the Grants Pass Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gavin W. Bruce and John C. Brassel for the District of Oregon, and Trial Attorney Cameron A. Bell for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
In 1994, Congress passed the FACE Act in response to an increase in violence toward patients and providers of reproductive health services. The FACE Act prohibits violent, threatening, damaging and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate or interfere with an individual’s right to seek, obtain or provide reproductive health services.
If you or someone you know is in danger, please call 911.
Suspected violations of the FACE Act can be reported to the FBI by calling 1-800-225-5324 (1-800-CALL-FBI) or by visiting tips.fbi.gov.