After six weeks of testimony, a San Francisco, CA jury on Friday ruled against David Daleiden and other undercover investigators after they exposed Planned Parenthood operatives discussing how to sell aborted baby body parts.
LifeSite News reports that David Daleiden and other investigators with the Center for Medical Progress were found guilty of various crimes. The exact amount the group will have to pay in the civil suit has not been determined.
The jury released its verdict Friday afternoon after deliberating less than two days, even though the civil trial for the biggest pro-life case in the last 20 years took six weeks.
The Thomas More Society has defended Daleiden against Planned Parenthood since the multi-billion-dollar abortion provider sued him for exposing the corporation's role in alleged illegal baby body parts trafficking.
"This lawsuit is payback for David Daleiden exposing Planned Parenthood's dirty business of buying and selling fetal parts and organs," declared lead Thomas More Society defense attorney Peter Breen. "We intend to seek vindication for David on appeal. His investigation into criminal activity by America's largest abortion provider utilized standard investigative journalism techniques, those applied regularly by news outlets across the country."
"David's findings revealed practices so abhorrent that the United States Congress issued criminal referrals for Planned Parenthood, and numerous states and elected officials have moved to strip it of funding," continued Breen. "Rather than face up to its heinous doings, Planned Parenthood chose to persecute the person who exposed it. I am fully confident that when this case has run its course, justice will prevail, and David will be vindicated."
Tom Brejcha, Thomas More Society President and Chief Counsel, noted that the implications of this lawsuit go far beyond "exposing the evils of the abortion industry."
"This case puts the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech on trial. It tests the sacred tenet of freedom of the press," Brejcha explained. "Planned Parenthood decided that it was above the law. Planned Parenthood was wrong, and I am confident that we will win on appeal."
As CBN News has reported, Daleiden and Sandra Merritt with the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) secretly recorded and exposed Planned Parenthood operatives discussing, even bragging about, how to maximize the sale of aborted baby body parts.
The lawsuit was brought by Planned Parenthood and seven of its affiliate organizations.
Verdict is in: Jury finds David Daleiden and CMP liable in their undercover journalism of Planned Parenthood for millions of dollars in damages for the work they did to expose organ harvesting on live babies: pic.twitter.com/g5sZ5we09e
— Thomas More Society (@ThomasMoreSoc) November 15, 2019
The videos sparked national outrage and congressional investigations with findings of illegal actions by abortion providers and fetal tissue procurement companies.
Reporter Helen Chistophi tweeted from the courthouse that the punitive damages totaled $870,000.
Troy Newman $50K
Lopez: $0 (PP dropped punitives againt Lopez)
— Helen Christophi (@helenchristophi) November 15, 2019
Judge William Orrick allowed a significant portion of one of the undercover videos to be played for the jury as the Planned Parenthood abortionist who discussed "crushing" babies to harvest their organs was on the stand, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) whose attorneys are a part of the legal team are representing Daleiden and Merritt.
Witnesses for Planned Parenthood included Founder/President Linda Tracy and Procurement Manager Perrin Larton of Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc. (ABR), a US wholesaler of aborted baby body parts since 1989.
ABR's yearly revenues are about $1.1 to $1.5 million, all from harvesting and purchasing babies' livers, lungs, and brains in abortion facilities and re-selling the body parts to taxpayer-funded research laboratories at enormous mark-up prices.
Buying and selling human fetal tissue is illegal in the United States. Federal regulations also prohibit anyone from altering the timing or method of an abortion for the sole purpose of later using the tissue in research.
March For Life President Jeanine Mancini said she looks forward to an appeal of the decision to choose trafficking over truth.
“March for Life is saddened to learn of the outcome of the six-week-long trial in California involving abortion giant Planned Parenthood and the Center for Medical Progress. In the past weeks, not only did the witnesses make clear that the Center for Medical Progress videos were authentic and accurate - and therefore baby body parts were trafficked by Planned Parenthood, but the judge who had a conflict of interest because of his ties to Planned Parenthood greatly biased the jury," she said.
Planned Parenthood sued Daleiden and others for fraud and trespassing.
The Center for Medical Progress tweeted that the amount awarded was "$870K plus hundreds of thousands more in compensatory damages. Lady Justice was not blind in this trial, Judge Orrik's rulings against CMP et al created bias against us with jury, black eye for #1A, dangerous precedent."
BREAKING: Jury awards Planned Parenthood $870K in punitive damages plus hundreds of thousands more in compensatory damages. Lady Justice was not blind in this trial, Judge Orrik’s rulings against CMP et al created bias against us with jury, black eye for #1A, dangerous precedent.
— CMP (@CtrMedProgress) November 15, 2019
Prior to Orrick giving the case to the jury, he decided that the defendants were guilty of trespass at the various facilities where they recorded their conversations with Planned Parenthood doctors and staff.
Daleiden and others are also facing 14 felony counts of illegal taping under California's anti-eavesdropping law.
Judge Christopher Hite of the San Francisco Superior Court is expected to rule if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.