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Thomas More Society conveys “other side of the story” concerning FBI raid on Houck Family

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Screen Shot 2022-09-28 at 12.07.28 PMChicago’s Thomas More Society steps in to provide legal aid for Catholic life advocate in Pennsylvania. The group released the following statement earlier this week: 

Mark Houck made national headlines after 20 heavily armed federal agents stormed his home at dawn on September 23, 2022, scaring his family, pointing guns at his head, and then arresting him in front of his wife and seven young children. The devoted family man and community leader will appear in federal court in Philadelphia for a 1:30 p.m. (Eastern) arraignment on September 27, 2022, with his Thomas More Society attorneys by his side. Houck is alleged to have violated the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, commonly known as the FACE Act, outside of a Pennsylvania abortion facility in October 2021.

Houck, a Catholic life advocate and speaker, is being charged over an altercation with an abortion activist who repeatedly targeted Houck’s 12-year-old son with vulgar verbal attacks, facts that according to Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen, do not fall under the federal FACE Act.

“This case is being brought solely to intimidate people of faith and prolife Americans,” stated Breen. “Mark Houck is innocent of these lawless charges, and we intend to prove that in court.”

In June 2022, Thomas More Society attorneys notified the Biden Department of Justice that caselaw in the same district had held that the FACE Act does not cover one-off altercations like the one involving Houck, which was initiated by the abortion proponent who was harassing Houck’s son. The Department of Justice was also advised that if the decision was made to bring a charge against Houck despite lack of legal foundation, Houck would appear voluntarily.

“Rather than accepting Mark Houck’s offer to appear voluntarily, the Biden Department of Justice chose to make a show of potentially deadly force, sending twenty heavily armed federal agents to the Houck residence at dawn this past Friday,” explained Breen. “In threatening form, after nearly breaking down the family’s front door, at least five agents pointed guns at Mark and arrested him in front of his wife and seven young children, who were terrified that their husband and father would be shot dead before their eyes.”

In June 2019, Thomas More Society attorneys won a case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, establishing that a one-off altercation, like the one for which the Biden Department of Justice is levying two counts against Houck, cannot form the basis for a FACE claim. Read about that case here.

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