Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Conviction Of Florida Abortionist Is Overturned, 7/17/2002

By Editorial Staff
Published July 17, 2002

By Henry Pierson Curtis and Amy Rippel, Sentinel Staff Writers

All but one of the convictions of Dr. James Pendergraft, who owns five Florida abortion clinics, were overturned Tuesday by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The doctor had been serving a 46-month prison sentence when he was released in February until the court ruled on his February 2001 conviction in what prosecutors say was a scheme to extort money from Marion County officials.

“Of course, he’s happy. He’s extremely happy,” Pendergraft’s spokeswoman, Marti Mackenzie, said late Tuesday.

The doctor was traveling out of state but spent most of the evening reading the court’s decision. He is considering various ways to recoup the money he spent defending himself, she said.

Pendergraft, 44, who owns two clinics in Orlando as well as others in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Ocala, still faces retrial on a single count of conspiracy to commit perjury.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Klindt said late Tuesday that no decision had been reached on how prosecutors will respond to the Atlanta appellate court’s order.

Options open to the U.S. Attorney’s Office include accepting the decision or asking the panel of three judges to review their own decision or ask for a full review by all 12 judges on the 11th Circuit.

The case dates to 1997, when Pendergraft bought a medical building in Ocala as part of his plans to expand his practice. The intended move was opposed by anti-abortion forces in Marion County, where the last abortion clinic had been destroyed in 1989 by an arsonist.

Pendergraft’s other clinics already had drawn repeated protests, including regular ones in Orlando on Virginia Avenue and Lucerne Terrace. He drew statewide attention in 1996 when city officials paid him $325,000 to settle a lawsuit over blocking one of those clinics from opening.

Seeking to avoid such controversy, Marion County commissioners asked the doctor not to come to Marion County. Pendergraft responded by having an associate, Michael Spielvogel, find out how much the county would be willing to pay to buy him out.

Marion officials went to the FBI claiming that Pendergraft was trying to make them “pay for peace.”

According to court papers, Spielvogel, 54, initially indicated the doctor might stay away if the county paid up to $500,000 for the building that had cost $200,000. But that price soared after a fatal bombing on Jan. 28, 1998, of an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala.

That night, Spielvogel and a county official spoke by telephone. Spielvogel claimed afterward that the official threatened him with similar-but-worse violence in Ocala.

But the FBI was taping the conversation and knew he was lying. Pendergraft later said he was present when Spielvogel received the threatening phone call.

In March 1998, Pendergraft told Marion officials he would “stay away three years for $500,000, five years for $750,000, and forever for $1,000,000,” according to court papers.

In its finding Tuesday, the 11th Circuit threw out the extortion and mail-fraud charges, saying they were groundless and improperly lumped with a charge of conspiracy to commit perjury.

The court agreed that there was sufficient evidence to convict Pendergraft and Spielvogel for making up the story about being threatened the night of the Alabama bombing.

Pendergraft and Spielvogel face a new trial on that charge.

The court acquitted both men of attempted extortion and mail fraud.

On the final charges, the court upheld Spielvogel’s conviction for perjury and making a false report about the threatening phone call to the FBI. But the court ordered him resentenced on those charges.

The court criticized the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Deveraux, for using what some consider a racist phrase, “shucked and jived,” in his closing argument to describe testimony by Pendergraft, who is black.

“However, even if the phrase is not entirely of a racist character, it is not the sort of characterization that should be employed by an assistant United States attorney, whose interest is not that he `shall win a case, but that justice shall be done,’ “ the judges wrote, citing court decisions.

The abortion doctor had been sentenced to prison for attempted extortion and other charges.


Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

Martin Luther: Digitally Remastered 1953 Classic (DVD)

“Here I stand … I can do no other!”

With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.

The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.

Running time: 105 minutes

Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.

Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

$9.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

Who is the Real Jesus?

Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.

Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.

The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.

Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.

Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!

Running Time: 130 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

$12.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

$4.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

Search this site:
View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats