Flip Benham, director of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue National, was sentenced to a year in jail by Lynchburg, Virginia Circuit Judge Richard Miller for organizing a religious demonstration at a public school. Benham led more than 150 Liberty University students in an anti-abortion demonstration outside E.C. Glass High School. Groups stood outside the school, blocking the paths to the entrances and exits, waving signs and handing out religious and anti-abortion propaganda to the students.
Police officers testified that the demonstration posed a threat to public safety and that Benham refused to leave when he was asked to do so. Benham insists that he had every right to be there.
Benham and Liberty University student organizer, John Reyes, face a year in jail, with six months possible suspension for good behavior. Jeff Brown, another Liberty student and demonstrator, was also convicted of trespassing and will serve six months in jail, with fifteen days suspended.