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Ax-Wielding Priest Pleads Guilty to Attack on Abortion Clinic, Gets Light Sentence

The ax-wielding priest who crashed his car into the entrance of a Rockford, IL, abortion clinic pled guilty to charges of damaging property on Wednesday. Despite the violent nature of the attack, Rev. John Earl of the St. Patrick’s’ Catholic Church in Rochelle, Illinois, received a sentence of 30 months probations, two days in jailÑwith credit for one day already servedÑand $7,600 in fines and restitution. On September 30, 2000, Earl drove his car through the front doors of the Illinois Women’s Center and began vandalizing the doors and walls of the clinic with an ax. Earl’s attack came two days after the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill RU-486, as a safe and effective method of early, medical abortion.

Sources:

New York Times Ð February 14, 2001; Associated Press Ð February 14, 2001; Rockford Register Star Ð February 14, 2001

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