Catholic father and pro-life activist Mark Houck has pleaded not guilty Tuesday following an arrest by the FBI at his home in Pennsylvania last week, Fox News reports.
Houck was arrested by the FBI on Friday for allegedly shoving a Planned Parenthood worker twice while protesting outside a clinic, a potential violation of the FACE Act, which makes it a federal crime to interfere with someone “because that person is a provider of reproductive health care,” according to a Department of Justice statement. Houck faces up to 11 years in prison and fines of up to $350,000. (RELATED: ‘Authoritarian’: Republicans React To Biden Admin’s VA Office Offering Abortion Services)
Houck pleaded not guilty to the two charges in a Philadelphia federal court on Tuesday, according to Fox News.
Houck says that he was defending his 12-year-old son from verbal harassment when he pushed away the escort, according to Catholics News Agency.
Attorney Peter Breen says DOJ is treating Houck as if he were a “drug lord or a mafia boss.”
“It put officers’ lives in danger. It put the Houck family in danger. And it was an utter waste of judicial resources and taxpayer resources.”https://t.co/o7VbLkcwO1
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) September 27, 2022
Houck’s attorney, Peter Breen, said that federal agents showed up “heavily armed,” despite the father of seven promising to comply with arrest, according to Fox News.
“Rather than accepting Mark Houck’s offer to appear voluntarily, the Biden Department of Justice chose to make an unnecessary show of potentially deadly force, sending twenty heavily armed federal agents to the Houck residence at dawn this past Friday,” Breen said, according to National Review.