Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pastor Would Rather Go to Jail Then Stop Harassing Women Going to Clinic

More proof why it is society that must change and why laws aren't enough by themselves. From the Oakland Tribune comes a story of an anti-abortion pastor who violated Oakland law by harassing patients and escorts coming into a local clinic, and then blatantly refuses to abide by his punishment or just leave the women alone. I just had to share.

A Berkeley pastor who was the first person convicted of violating an Oakland law created to prevent anti-abortion protesters from harassing patients visiting clinics decided Friday to spend a month in jail as punishment for his crime.

Less than a month after he was sentenced to three years probation and given the option of volunteering or using the jail's work-release program instead of jail time as punishment, the Rev. Walter Hoye told a judge he wanted to do "straight time."

Hoye, who was immediately jailed, was arrested last May after he approached two women and their escorts who were trying to enter the Family Planning Specialists Medical Group in Jack London Square. Hoye was originally charged with four counts of violating the city law but was found guilty in January of two counts.

At a sentencing hearing last month, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Stuart Hing said Hoye, in addition to the jail time or community service, would also have to serve three years probation during which time he would have to stay 100 yards away from the clinic where he was arrested.

Hoye said at the time that he would not abide by the terms of the probation and a hearing was set Friday to settle the matter.
Oakland's "bubble law" requires that anti-abortion protesters stay 8 feet away from any patient and escort who are trying to enter a clinic.
If Hoye is found within 100 yards of the clinic after he is released from jail, the Alameda County District Attorney's Office could charge him with a violation of probation and send him to jail again.