January 17, 2006 | 04:37 PM
DA escalates charge against Marcavage for pro-life witness
The Chester County District Attorney's Office in Pennsylvania has escalated a "Defiant Trespass" charge against Michael Marcavage for standing on a public sidewalk near a college campus with a pro-life witness.
In October of 2005 during RA's annual pro-life evangelism tour, Michael Marcavage was standing near the public campus of West Chester University (West Chester, Pennsylvania) displaying a sign with the reality of abortion. Subsequently, university police cited Marcavage for "Defiant Trespass" for refusing to surrender his constitutionally protected rights to "free exercise of religion" and "free speech".
On January 4, 2006, university officials attempted to have the attorney for the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education illegally argue the criminal case, which is prohibited by the state's rules of criminal procedure without the authorization of the district attorney. The judge granted a continuance until January 18, 2006 so that the university officials would have another opportunity to seek the necessary authorization.
Today, Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has ordered that the university police drop the summary offense of "Defiant Trespass" against Marcavage, so that they can file a criminal complaint to escalate the charge to a misdemeanor level offense. This change now subjects Marcavage to a preliminary hearing and possible jury trial if the charges are not dismissed. He faces up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Please pray for the Lord to be lifted up in this case, and we strongly encourage you to please contact the Chester County District Attorney's Office to voice your opposition to using our criminal courts to suppress the Word of God and to express your objections to this illegal prosecution.
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