Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Iowa City: Street Preacher Cited for Disorderly Conduct Outside Planned Parenthood; Pleaded "Not Guilty" & Has Requested a Jury Trial // Updated Below: Guilty Verdict

(Originally written on 08/13/17): Sometime this past week, I learned of a disorderly conduct case that's emerged here in Iowa City involving our local Planned Parenthood clinic and a street preacher with strong lungs.

It all started on 05/30/17 when Tony Miano from Cross Encounters were protesting outside of Planned Parenthood. It was on a Tuesday morning, which is when our local PP clinic does abortion procedures. You see protesters outside of or near Planned Parenthood in Iowa City pretty much every Tuesday morning.

Miano began preaching very loudly that morning outside the clinic. You can watch this video to get an idea of how loud he was, but it was loud enough to be heard inside the clinic. I'm sure it stinks to live nearby this clinic or to have a business near this clinic because of his preaching, but I'm also pretty sure that Miano doesn't care.

Within a few minutes of the start of his street-preaching, two Iowa City Police Officers pulled up and informed Miano that he was violating the noise statute. Once it was determined that he had already been warned about this during a previous police interaction, he was cited with Disorderly Conduct. Once again, you can watch video of their interaction here.

One day later, Miano reports that he was contacted by an attorney from Alliance Defending Freedom to represent him. He'd apparently seen the video encounter and offered to represent him. On 06/23/17, Miano pleaded "not guilty" to the charges of Disorderly Conduct and a trial was requested. A few days later, they specified that they wanted a "trial by jury," which was granted.

The case will go to trial at some unspecified point in the future. This case has grabbed my interest, so I'll keep my eyes out for it and provide updates.

Updated on 08/15/17: I was watching more videos the other day featured Tony Miano and his anti-abortion street ministry here in Iowa City. This particular video is from late last month outside of Iowa City's Planned Parenthood clinic.

A couple pulled up into the clinic parking lot. Miano called to the couple and grabbed their attention: "Please let us talk to you before you go inside. Please? What's that? We'd like to talk to you before you go inside. We've got help to offer. We're willing to adopt your baby today. There's absolutely no reason to abort your child today. Any financial, medical, housing needs you may have we're willing to provide today. Absolutely."

The couple then walked away. "So you're still going to murder your child anyway, sir? You wouldn't be at Planned Parenthood if you had medical reasons, sir."

And it goes on from there.

I'd point out that it's very well possible that this couple was going inside to undergo an abortion procedure. They could have also been there for other medical treatment services.

But the video sparked my curiosity. On Monday, I posted the following question to Tony Miano on his YouTube comments section: "Has anyone taken you up on your offer to adopt their unborn child?"

He replied: "Not yet. This is why I say women have abortions-not because they have no other choice or option, but because they have no other desire."

Personally, I think it's a little of both. Depending on the individual, of course.

Updated on 04/24/18: I was mulling over blog topics today and somehow thought of this particular case. I started doing some research and realized that I missed the Disorderly Conduct trial against anti-abortion activist Tony Miano. The trial was held on January 9, 2018 here in Iowa City.

The Senior Manager for Safety and Security at Planned Parenthood testified that Miano's voice could be heard within the building on 05/30/17 and that he was distressing the business' patients.

Miano initially tried to make a freedom of speech argument, which was not allowed by the judge. He was allowed freedom of speech, the prosecution argued. He wasn't allowed freedom of speech at the volume that he practiced it.

According to the blog, the jury deliberated for 30-45 minutes before unanimously finding him guilty of Disorderly Conduct: Loud and Raucous Noise. He was sentenced to 30 days in county jail (suspended) and one year of self-supervised probation. He is to pay a fine of $135, plus court costs. And he is to avoid all contact with any and all Planned Parenthood offices during the coming year.

In this blog post, Miano indicated his intent to appeal his conviction. It's not clear to me that he has actually filed his appeal yet.

No comments: