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Two Florida residents indicted after threats at reproductive health clinics

Two Florida residents have been indicted for threatening reproductive health clinics, including LifeChoice Pregnancy Center in Winter Haven, Fla. Photo courtesy of the Winter Haven Police Department
Two Florida residents have been indicted for threatening reproductive health clinics, including LifeChoice Pregnancy Center in Winter Haven, Fla. Photo courtesy of the Winter Haven Police Department

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Amid rising violence at reproductive health clinics, two Florida residents have been indicted for spray-painting threats on a clinic and targeting two others.

The indictment comes just five days after the FBI renewed its efforts to get information about recent arson and destruction at facilities in eight states.

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Tuesday's indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Florida, alleges Caleb Freestone, 27, and Amber Smith-Stewart, 23, conspired to vandalize pregnancy resource facilities with spray-painted threats. The threats included messages that stated "If abortions aren't safe then neither are you," "Your time is up!!," and "We are everywhere."

The Justice Department's indictment against Freestone and Smith-Stewart accuses the pair of committing civil rights conspiracy and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, or FACE, Act. The indictment claims the pair threatened force to intimidate employees and intentionally damaged a facility because it provides reproductive health services.

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Freestone and Smith-Stewart are accused of spray-painting a facility in Winter Haven, Fla., and targeting reproductive health facilities in Hialeah and Hollywood, Fla.

If convicted, each face up to 12 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fines up to $350,000.

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The indictment comes five days after the FBI offered a reward to help solve ten arsons at reproductive health facilities in eight states, including Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina, New York and Tennessee.

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The attacks, since March of 2022, ranged from painted messages and broken windows to Molotov cocktails and fire.

A conviction using fire or explosives carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

The reward for public information "reflects the FBI's commitment to vigorously pursue investigations into crimes against pregnancy resource centers, faith-based organizations and reproductive health clinics across the country," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement last week.

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"We will continue to work closely with our national, state and local law enforcement partners to hold responsible anyone who uses extremist views to justify their criminal actions."

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