Life&Death

Pro-life advocate Mark Houck offered to appear in court months ago. FBI raided his family anyway

by Steve Ertelt, Lifenews.com

More evidence is coming to light showing that Joe Biden’s Justice Department clearly targeted a pro-life man his family with a shocking home raid as a matter of persecution.

Mark Houck made national headlines over the weekend after 20 heavily-armed federal agents stormed his home at dawn on September 23 — frightening his family, pointing guns at his head, and then arresting him in front of his wife and seven young children.

Mark Houck

As LifeNews reported, Joe Biden’s FBI has raided the home of the well-known pro-life advocate and arrested on a bogus charge that had already been thrown out of court. Biden’s administration is coming under fire for weaponizing the FBI and Department of Justice to target pro-life conservatives.

Houck, a father of seven, is frequently seen sidewalk counseling in front of Philadelphia abortion businesses to help women choose pro-life alternatives.

In September 2021, Houck was involved in an incident outside a Philadelphia abortion business where a pro-abortion clinic escort had repeatedly bullied and intimidated his 12-year-old son who was with him to help sidewalk counsel and encourage women to choose pro-life alternatives. After multiple verbal assaults and the abortion activist getting into his son’s face, Houck pushed him away and he fell.

Houck, who regularly prays the rosary outside the clinic, maintains he was defending his 12-year-old son from the escort’s verbal harassment, a family spokesman, Brian Middleton, told CNA. The man fell when Houck pushed him away, Middleton said. The incident was so minor that charges were never pressed and a court ultimately dismissed a complaint the abortion activist filed.

However, Houck is now alleged to have violated the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, commonly known as FACE, outside of a Pennsylvania abortion facility.

But, new information for Houck’s attorney, Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen, indicates Houck agree months ago to turn himself in voluntarily.

In June 2022, Thomas More Society attorneys notified the Biden Department of Justice that the FACE Act does not cover one-on-one 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 an unnecessary 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’s head 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.”

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

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.

If the DOJ pursue the charges, it will be going agaisnt court precedent. 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 in which the Biden Department of Justice is levying two counts against Houck, cannot form the basis for a FACE claim.

As CNA reports, the incident at the abortion center was so minor that local charges were never filed.

When both the city police and the district attorney declined to file charges against Houck, the escort filed a private criminal complaint in Philadelphia municipal court, Middleton said. The case was dismissed in July when the man repeatedly didn’t show up in court, Middleton said.

Just days later, Houck received a “target letter” from the U.S. Attorney’s Office informing him that he was the focus of a federal criminal probe into the same incident, Middleton said.

Through his attorney at the time, Houck tried to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office to discuss the case but never received a response, Middleton said.

“The next time they heard anything was Friday morning,” he said.

Biden’s Justice Department is now charging Houck with violating the FACE Act and Houck is now facing a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and fines of up to $350,000 for merely defending his son from being attacked.

However, Houck never blocked access to the abortion center, which is what the law is designed to stop, and the incident was nothing more than a minor scuffle.

The Houck family is now panicked about what will happen to Mark from here. A GiveSendGo has been set up to help raise funds to support them and to assist with Mark’s legal defense.

Mark Houck was taken to “the federal building in downtown Philadelphia,” his wife told the outlet.

As a result of the incident, the children were “really sad and stressed,” Ryan-Marie said. “I don’t really know what’s going to come of it when you see guns pointed at your dad and your mom in your house when you first wake up in the morning.

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