An Oregon man pleaded guilty today to twice smashing windows and destroying property at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grants Pass, Oregon because the clinic provides reproductive health services.
Devin Friedrick Kruse, 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
“The Department of Justice will not tolerate unlawful and violent behavior that interferes with the work of reproductive health clinics,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This conviction should send a strong message that we will use federal civil rights law to protect clinics and staff who provide reproductive health services while protecting the rights of their patients.”
“The First Amendment does not permit individuals to violate the civil rights of others,” said U.S. Attorney Natalie Wight for the District of Oregon. “In this case, Mr. Kruse’s destructive and intimidating acts prevented women from accessing vital reproductive health and pregnancy services.”
“Citizens have a legal right to protest peacefully, but Mr. Kruse’s repeated violent actions toward a family planning clinic have crossed a line,” Special Agent in Charge Kieran L. Ramsey of the FBI Field Office told AFP. Portland. “The FBI will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe while respecting the First Amendment rights of individuals.”
According to court documents, on November 23, 2021, Kruse broke five security cameras, a window and a sign at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grants Pass. Three days later, on November 26, 2021, Kruse returned and threw a concrete block through the clinic window, demolished an intercom system, and smashed several light bulbs. Kruse later admitted to damaging the facility because he was angry at Planned Parenthood for killing unborn children.
On February 24, 2022, Kruse was charged with misdemeanor criminal information on two counts of violating the FACE Act.
Violations of the FACE Act are punishable by up to one year in federal prison. Kruse will be sentenced on January 5, 2023 by U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken.
As part of his plea agreement, Kruse agreed to pay full restitution to Planned Parenthood, as identified by the government prior to sentencing and ordered by the court.
The FBI investigated the case with the assistance of the Grants Pass Police Department. He is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gavin W. Bruce and John C. Brassel for the District of Oregon, and Trial Attorney Cameron A. Bell for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
In 1994, Congress passed the FACE Act in response to an increase in violence against patients and providers of reproductive health services. The FACE Act prohibits violent, threatening, harmful, and obstructive behavior intended to harm, intimidate, or interfere with an individual’s right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services.
If you or someone you know is in danger, please call 911.
Suspected violations of the FACE Act may be reported to the FBI by calling 1-800-225-5324 (1-800-CALL-FBI) or by visiting tips.fbi.gov.