SAN FRANCISCO – After 12 hours, three judges and $75,000 in bail, Sandra “Susan” Merritt was finally released from jail Wednesday. Merritt turned herself in to California authorities to answer the 15-count felony charges brought against her by the State of California for her undercover work in exposing Planned Parenthood’s illegal sale of aborted baby body parts.
Before Merritt was searched, handcuffed and taken away to jail, she and Horatio Mihet, Liberty Counsel’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Litigation Counsel, shared the Bible verse in Psalm 37:5-7 which says, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.”
The State of California made it clear that it will spare no expense to convict her and put her in jail for 11 years. However, 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.
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.
“It makes no sense that a 34-year-old illegal immigrant, the very definition of a flight risk, is charged with rape and gets his bail set at $2,500,” said Mihet. “But the judge refused to lower the $75,000 bail for Sandra “Susan” Merritt, a 64-year-old grandmother who has lived in the same house for 41 years and doesn’t even have a passport. All because she gave Planned Parenthood a huge black eye. There is law, and then there’s abortion law,” said Mihet.
“We are dealing with corrupt politicians in the State of California who have their hands in the pockets of Planned Parenthood,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Sandra Merritt did not violate any law and we will seek dismissal of these baseless charges.”
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.