WHITE PLAINS, NY – Three men affiliated with an anti-abortion group who broke into a women’s health care clinic in White Plains will go to jail.
Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah said Wednesday that the three members of Red Rose Rescue, two of whom live out of state, were sentenced to 90 days in jail on Tuesday following their criminal convictions for trespassing. All Women’s Heath and Medical Services in White Plains.
The district attorney’s office recommended the maximum sentence allowed by law of three months.
Rocah said she would use the full strength of her office to protect patients and reproductive rights in Westchester County.
“Abortion is legal in New York State and interfering with a patient’s right to access medical and reproductive care is a crime,” she said.
After a three-day trial in March, a jury found Matthew Connolly, 40, of Minnesota, William Goodman, 52, of Wisconsin and Christopher Moscinski, 52, of the Bronx guilty of third-degree criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor .
The men entered the health facility at approximately 8:40 a.m. on November 27, 2021, where they remained illegally for approximately two hours despite numerous requests and warnings to leave from medical personnel and the White Plains Police Department.
They disrupted facility operations and patient service, with two occupying the waiting room, rendering it unusable, and another using his body to create an obstruction in one of the office doors.
White Plains police arrested them and had to physically transport them out of the medical center.
At the time, Red Rose Rescue called the action a “non-violent direct action intervention.”
Goodman was quoted in a Facebook post as saying they remained in the building “to be staunch patient advocates for moms and their toddlers in the womb…in good conscience, we couldn’t leave until innocent people were in danger”.
In June, the Westchester Council of Legislators passed and County Executive George Latimer signed the Health Care Facilities Access Act to protect healthcare workers and patients requiring medical care from be prevented from accessing a reproductive health care facility. It also protects them from harassing behavior from people at specific distances from the premises.
The law puts a 25-foot non-harassment zone around the perimeter of a facility and establishes an 8-foot bubble of personal space surrounding the person within 100 feet of the facility.