New York Man Pleads Guilty to Violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act
Defendant and Others Blocked Access to a Reproductive Health Services Facility
WASHINGTON – Jay Smith 32, of Freeport, New York, pleaded guilty today to a felony charge of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in connection with the October 22, 2020 invasion of a reproductive health care clinic in Washington, D.C. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled a sentencing hearing for August 7, 2023.
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.
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.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Fraud, Public Corruption, and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. 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, Detroit and Pittsburgh provided valuable assistance.