Five Defendants Convicted of Federal Civil Rights Conspiracy and Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act Offenses for Obstructing Access to a Reproductive Health Services Facility
Jury Finds Defendants Blocked Access to Clinic in Northwest D.C.
August 30, 2023 - WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, a federal jury convicted five defendants – Lauren Handy, 28, of Alexandria, Virginia; John Hinshaw, 67, of Levittown, New York; Heather Idoni, 61, of Linden, Michigan; William Goodman, 52, of Bronx, New York; and Herb Geraghty, 25, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – of both offenses in a two-count indictment charging them with federal civil rights offenses in connection with an alleged reproductive health care clinic invasion in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22, 2020. The defendants were each convicted of a felony conspiracy against rights and a FACE Act offense.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and Acting Special Agent in Charge David Geist, of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.
The defendants each face up to a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $350,000. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who presided over the trial, ordered the defendants immediately detained as required by statute. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
As the evidence at trial showed, the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to create a blockade at the reproductive health care clinic to prevent the clinic from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services. As part of the conspiracy, Handy, Hinshaw, Idoni, Goodman, and Geraghty, traveled to Washington, D.C. from various northeast and midwestern states, to meet with Handy and participate in a clinic blockade that was directed by Handy and was broadcast on Facebook.
According to the evidence, Handy, Hinshaw, Idoni, and Goodman forcefully entered the clinic and set about blockading two clinic doors using their bodies, furniture, chains and ropes. Once the blockade was established, their activities were live-streamed. The evidence also showed that the defendants violated the FACE Act by using a physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with the clinic’s employees and a patient, because they were providing or obtaining reproductive health services.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with valuable assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the District of New Jersey, District of Massachusetts, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of New York, and Southern District of New York; and FBI Field Offices in Newark, New York City, Boston, and Detroit provided valuable assistance.
Source: DOJ Release