American Justice Notebook

"Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost." — Thomas Jefferson

Man Indicted for Allegedly Assaulting Reproductive Health Care Volunteer Escort

brown wooden chairs inside roomOfficials stated that a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania returned an indictment Friday charging a local man for allegedly assaulting a reproductive health care clinic escort in Philadelphia.

According to court documents, Mark Houck, 48, of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, is alleged to have twice assaulted a man because he was a volunteer reproductive health clinic escort.

The two-count indictment charges Houck with a violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which makes it a federal crime to use force to injure, intimidate, and interfere with anyone because that person is a provider of reproductive health care.   

The charges stem from two separate incidents on Oct. 13, 2021, where Houck assaulted the victim, identified in the indictment as “B.L.,” because B.L. was a volunteer escort at the reproductive health care clinic. 

If convicted of the offenses, Houck is facing up to 11 years in prison. He is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The FBI Philadelphia Field Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania are prosecuting the case.