Spokane, Washington, Man Indicted on Civil Rights Charges Related to Threats to Reproductive Health Services Clinic
WASHINGTON – Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, announced today that a federal grand jury in Denver has charged Donald Hertz with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce and with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act for allegedly threatening an employee of a Colorado abortion clinic. The FACE Act makes it a federal crime to injure, intimidate or interfere with, by force or threat of force, employees of a facility that provides reproductive health services.
The grand jury alleged in a two-count indictment that on June 23, 2009, Hertz, 70, of Spokane, Wash., contacted an employee of the Boulder Abortion Clinic and communicated a threat to the life of the family members of an employee of the clinic. The indictment also alleges the defendant intended to intimidate and interfere with employees of the facility because they were providing reproductive health services.
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. If convicted, Hertz faces a maximum prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of up to $350,000.
The case was investigated by special agents from the Denver and Spokane Divisions of the FBI and deputies from the United States Marshals Service. The case is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.