The case of pro-life investigative journalist David Daleiden has taken a sharp downturn after a judge ruled that he must raise $600,000 in less than two weeks to pay an appeal bond. Should Daleiden fail to do so, Planned Parenthood can seize his assets and those of his organization, the Center for Medical Progress.
According to a statement from the Thomas More Society, who is defending Daleiden and CMP, United States district judge William H. Orrick’s harsh judgment is the result of Planned Parenthood’s retaliatory lawsuit against Daleiden and four CMP associates.
In 2015, CMP released several undercover videos in 2015 revealing that the abortion giant’s executives sold (and crassly haggled over the price of) aborted baby parts.
Back in November, a six-week civil trial with Orrick presiding concluded when Daleiden and his associates were found guilty of multiple crimes, including violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, wiretapping, and engaging in civil conspiracy.
The jury also rendered a judgment of $2.3 million in damages, according to LifeSiteNews, against the defendants.
Orrick upheld the jury’s verdict in an April 29 decision that found the defendants liable for over $1 million and for punitive damages totaling around $800,000.
CMP’s legal team filed post-trial motions with Orrick seeking a new trial, a reduction in charges, and an end to the injunction banning the defendants from attending Planned Parenthood conferences undercover.
“We challenged everything,” said Peter Breen, senior counsel for the Thomas More Society.
Now, Orrick has ordered the defendants to pay a $600,000 bond within 14 days of his Wednesday ruling in order to secure their right to appeal.
If the appeal bond payment is not posted, Breen told LifeSiteNews, the consequences will be disastrous.
“If we cannot post a $600,000 bond in this 14-day period, Planned Parenthood’s high-priced collections lawyers can come after David with asset seizures, garnishments and strip him and the Center for Medical Progress bare” and “cripple” his pro-life work, Breen said.
“They can take everything,” he continued. “They can take all of his possessions. They can even come get his car. When we’re able to travel again, how would he even have the money to travel? You can’t even imagine the tools that shrewd collections lawyers have at their disposal to take every dime you have, or nearly every dime you have, in situations like this.”
Thankfully, this is not the end of the road for the Thomas More Society, who is helping Daleiden raise money to pay the bond, which Breen said will “secure our right to go on appeal and get this jury verdict overturned.”
“The alternative,” he declared, “is to abandon the Central for Medical Progress and David Daleiden to the wolves.”
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