Sandra Merritt Appears in Court for Felony Charges
May 3, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Sandra “Susan” Merritt will turn herself in to California authorities and make her first appearance in criminal court, to answer the 15-count felony charges brought against her by the State of California for her undercover work in exposing Planned Parenthood’s unethical and potentially illegal profiteering from the sale of aborted baby body parts.
Rather than investigating and prosecuting Planned Parenthood, which donated thousands of dollars to his political campaigns, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed charges against Merritt, claiming that her undercover video recordings violated California law. To date, no other citizen journalist or journalism organization has ever been charged with a crime for undercover recordings.
Liberty Counsel is defending Merritt and will seek dismissal of these outrageous and baseless charges. Similar criminal charges arising from the same recordings were brought against Merritt in Houston, Texas in 2016 but were eventually dismissed. The allegations say that Merritt and David Daleiden filmed 14 people without permission between October 2013 and July 2015 in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the county of El Dorado. One felony count was filed for each person. The 15th charge was for criminal conspiracy to invade privacy.
“The political prosecution against Susan Merritt is a brazen attack on the First Amendment itself, which imperils the critical work done by undercover journalists day in and day out,” said Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel, who is appearing with Susan in court today.
“The California Attorney General has overstepped the law by bringing these baseless charges,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Sandra Merritt did not violate any law.”
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.