EUGENE, Ore.—An Oregon man pleaded guilty today after twice breaking windows and destroying property at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grants Pass, Oregon because the clinic provides reproductive health services.
Devin Friedrick Kruse, 27, pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.
“The Justice Department will not tolerate unlawful and violent conduct 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 that provide reproductive health services while safeguarding the rights of their patients.”
“The First Amendment does not allow individuals to violate the civils rights of others. In this case, Mr. Kruse’s destructive and intimidating acts prevented women from accessing vital reproductive and pregnancy health services,” said Natalie Wight, U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
“Citizens have a legal right to peacefully protest, but Mr. Kruse’s actions of repeated violence toward a Planned Parenthood clinic crossed a line,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Portland Field Office. “The FBI will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of our communities while respecting individuals’ First Amendment rights.”
According to court documents, on November 23, 2021, Kruse broke five security cameras, a window, and a sign at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grants Pass. Three days later, on November 26, 2021, Kruse returned and threw a concrete block through the clinic’s window, tore down an intercom system, and broke several light bulbs. Kruse later admitted to damaging the facility because he was angry at Planned Parenthood for providing abortion services.
On February 24, 2022, Kruse was charged by misdemeanor criminal information with two counts of violating the FACE Act.
Under the FACE Act, first offenses involving property destruction are charged as misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in federal prison. Subsequent violations are charged as felony offenses.
Kruse will be sentenced on January 5, 2023, by U.S. District Court Judge Ann L. Aiken.
As part of his plea agreement, Kruse has agreed to pay restitution in full to Planned Parenthood as identified by the government prior to sentencing and ordered by the court.
This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Grants Pass Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce and John C. Brassell, Assistant U.S. Attorneys for the District of Oregon, and Cameron A. Bell, Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.
In 1994, Congress passed the FACE Act in response to an increase in violence toward patients and providers of reproductive health services. The FACE Act prohibits violent, threatening, damaging and obstructive conduct intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with an individual’s right to seek, obtain, or provide reproductive health services.
If you or someone you know is in danger, please call 911.