Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jan 24, 2023 / 16:30 pm
A Catholic priest who blocked access to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic could face up to one year in prison after being found guilty Monday of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, also known as the FACE Act.
On the morning of July 7, 2022, Father Fidelis Moscinski, 52, a priest of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, effectively shut down the Planned Parenthood of Greater New York clinic in Hempstead for about two hours, according to the DOJ. He placed locks and chains on the gated entrance and covered some of them with glue, which prevented anyone from getting through the gate. After the fire department and the police department eventually cut through the locks, Moscinski laid down in front of the entrance to prevent cars from going through the gate, a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
On Monday, the court delivered a guilty verdict from the bench. Post-conviction motions must be filed by Feb. 7, and the sentencing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on April 24.
“The defendant attempted to prevent women from accessing their legal right to vital reproductive and pregnancy services,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement on Sept. 29, 2022, after Moscinski was charged.