Acquitted pro-life activist Mark Houck sues DOJ for 'malicious prosecution'

A jury acquitted Houck of all charges in January of last year.

Published: May 23, 2024 4:50pm

Updated: May 23, 2024 5:07pm

Pro-life activist Mark Houck this week sued the Department of Justice alleging "malicious prosecution" and an array of other wrongdoings by the government during its prosecution of him on federal charges.

A jury acquitted Houck of all charges in January of last year. He had been accused of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, with prosecutors alleging that he "forcefully shoved" Bruce Love, a Planned Parenthood volunteer. The case drew national attention over the FBI's 2022 arrest of Houck in front of his family.

"I had the full force of the government at my door at 6:45 in the morning on September 23 with long guns and ballistic shields and helmets and battering rams ready to go and accost me and take me down to the federal building," Houck told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show last November. "And that began the journey towards the trial, which was January 24 this year and ended in a full acquittal unanimous decision on January 30."

Houck brought the suit under the Federal Tort Claims Act, alleging "malicious prosecution, retaliatory prosecution, abuse of process, false arrest, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress committed by federal employees and agents against Mr. Houck, Mrs. Houck, and their children."

Houck's suit is supported by activist group 40 Days for Life's recently launched Institute of Law & Justice (ILJ).

"For two decades, 40 Days for Life worked closely with the great men and women at the FBI and DOJ to protect our volunteers and those who disagree with us in the public square," 40 Day for Life President and CEO Shawn Carney said. "Our peaceful, law-abiding efforts never changed. What changed? The Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade and the weaponization of the DOJ against pro-life Americans and Catholics skyrocketed."

"America doesn't belong to the FBI, it belongs to law-abiding citizens no matter their religion or political affiliation. The bigotry and selective prosecution of our government cannot silence us to peacefully and legally share our beliefs in the public square," he continued. "At times, we received 1-2 targeted, one-sided inquiries per week from the FBI against our law-abiding volunteers. When we filed the Notice of Claim making the DOJ aware of our lawsuit against them six months ago, essentially all harassment ceased."

In August of last year, Houck announced a congressional bid, seeking to mount a primary challenge to Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. In April of this year, however, Fitzpatrick won the Republican nomination.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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