A Texas judge on Tuesday dismissed the last remaining charge against two anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials selling baby body parts
District Judge Brock Thomas dismissed the charge of tampering with government records against 27-year-old David Daleiden and 63-year-old Sandra Merritt upon the request of the Harris County prosecutor’s office.
“The dismissal of the bogus, politically motivated charges against [Center for Medical Progress] project lead David Daleiden and investigator Sandra Merritt is a resounding vindication of the First Amendment rights of all citizen journalists, and also a clear warning to any of Planned Parenthood’s political cronies who would attack whistleblowers to protect Planned Parenthood from scrutiny,” Daleiden said in a statement.
The pair’s attorneys had pushed to have the charge dismissed, saying Daleiden and Merritt never should have been indicted. If they had been convicted of the felony charge, each could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors alleged that Daleiden and Merritt used fake driver’s licenses to conceal their identities while dealing with Planned Parenthood.
Daleiden claimed victory on Tuesday, not only for his legal woes coming to an end, but also due to the continuing investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices, an investigation spurred on by the videos he helped produce.
“A year after the release of the undercover videos, the ongoing nationwide investigation of Planned Parenthood by the House Select Investigative Panel makes clear that Planned Parenthood is the guilty party in the harvesting and trafficking of baby body parts for profit,” Daleiden said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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