EUGENE, Ore. — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for Oregon said an Oregon man pleaded guilty today to attacking a Grants Pass Planned Parenthood clinic.
The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) said Devin Friedrick Kruse, 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act. He says Kruse admitted to twice breaking windows and destroying property at the clinic because it provides reproductive health services.
Court records indicate that on Nov. 23, 2021, Kruse smashed five security cameras, a window and a sign at a Grants Pass Planned Parenthood clinic, then three days later threw a concrete block through the window of the clinic, demolished an intercom system and broke several light bulbs. The USAO says Kruse admitted to damaging the facility because he was angry with Planned Parenthood for providing abortion services.
“The First Amendment does not permit individuals to violate the civil rights of others. In this case, Mr. Kruse’s destructive and intimidating acts prevented women from accessing vital reproductive health and pregnancy services” , said U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, Natalie Wight.
“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.”
On February 24, 2022, Kruse was accused with two counts of violating the FACE law.
“Citizens have a legal right to protest peacefully, but Mr. Kruse’s repeated acts of violence toward a Planned Parenthood clinic have crossed a line,” said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Portland Field Office, Kieran. Ramsey. “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.”
Under the FACE law, first offenses involving the destruction of property are considered misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in federal prison. Subsequent violations are considered criminal offences.
Kruse will be sentenced on January 5, 2023 by U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken.
As part of his plea deal, Kruse agreed to pay the entire restitution to Planned Parenthood.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with assistance from the Grants Pass Police Department. He is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys for the District of Oregon Gavin W. Bruce and John C. Brassell and US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Attorney Cameron A. Bell.
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 a person’s right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services.
Suspected violations of the FACE Act may be reported to the FBI by calling (503) 224-4181 or visiting tips.fbi.gov.
If you or someone you know is in danger, please call 911.