Oakland, CA — Rev. Walter Hoye was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail and fined $1,130 for unlawfully approaching women outside an Oakland abortion clinic even though evidence showed that he was innocent of the charges. He was ordered to stay away from the abortion clinic. Judge Hing told Rev. Hoye that he is allowed to serve the 30 days in alternative program, such as community service. The Life Legal Defense Foundation, which is representing Rev. Hoye, promises to appeal.
“This is an unjust sentence for an unjust conviction that cannot be allowed to stand,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “We stand behind Rev. Hoye one hundred per cent and pray for his speedy exoneration on appeal.”
In May of last year, Rev. Hoye challenged the constitutionality of a city “bubble zone” ordinance by filing a civil suit in Federal Court alleging it violated free speech rights and illegally discriminated against speech based on content. The ordinance bans people from coming within 8 feet of women entering abortion clinics.
Twelve days later, Rev. Hoye was arrested for violating that law. During the trial, secret video produced by clinic workers, known as “escorts,” not only showed that Rev. Hoye was innocent of the charges, but showed evidence that clinic escorts harassed him.
Rev. Hoye is an African-American who feels called to offer help to women outside abortion clinics and draw attention to the devastating impact abortion has had on the African-American community, which is disproportionately targeted by the abortion industry. He simply carries a sign that reads, “Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help you.”
“Every American should be alarmed by Rev. Hoye’s conviction on this unconstitutional ordinance,” said Newman. “When one man’s rights are abused, it undermines everyone’s liberty.
“We thank God for Rev. Hoye’s courage and faith in the face of persecution, and pray that this case will call attention to the extent to which the abortion lobby will go to silence opposition to abortion, and prevent women from receiving the love and help that might lead them to keep their babies.”