Pennsylvania Man Indicted for Assaulting a Reproductive Health Care Provider
Department of Justice Press Release Number: 22-1014 - Topic(s): Civil Rights
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A federal grand jury in Pennsylvania returned an indictment today charging a local man for assaulting a reproductive health care clinic escort in Philadelphia.
According to court documents, Mark Houck, 48, of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, is alleged to have twice assaulted a man because he was a volunteer reproductive health clinic escort. The two-count indictment charges Houck with a violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to use force with the intent to injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care.
The charges stem from two separate incidents on Oct. 13, 2021, where Houck assaulted the victim, identified in the indictment as “B.L.,” because B.L. was a volunteer escort at the reproductive health care clinic.
If convicted of the offenses, Houck faces up to a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000.
The FBI Philadelphia Field Office investigated the case. Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.