Criminal Charges Filed for Presenting Aborted Fetus to Clinton
NEW YORK (AP) _ A criminal contempt of court charge was filed Wednesday against Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry over an incident last month in which Gov. Bill Clinton was shown an aborted fetus.
Terry’s attorney, Jay Sekulow, entered an innocent plea before U.S. District Judge Robert Ward. Sekulow said Terry was in Houston, where the Republican National Convention takes place next week.
Clinton, who was in New York for the Democratic National Convention, was leaving his hotel July 14 to jog when, authorities said, he was stopped by Operation Rescue supporter Harley Belew.
Belew allegedly showed Clinton a male fetus, 19 or 20 weeks old, in a plastic container. Clinton refused to take it and walked away.
The day before, Ward, citing the state health code, had issued an order against presenting presidential candidate Clinton or his running mate, Sen. Al Gore, with fetal remains.
Terry, whose group opposes abortion, was charged with helping Belew plan the action in violation of the court order.
Only Terry is being prosecuted criminally; civil contempt charges remain against Belew and four others.
Terry faces six months in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted. Ward scheduled an Oct. 14 trial. Sekulow has said he intends to call Clinton as a witness.
U.S. Attorney Otto Obermaier had previously rejected Ward’s request that federal charges be brought. Obermaier cited the Justice Department’s support for Operation Rescue in a case currently before the Supreme Court.