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James Pendergraft: "I Am Not A Criminal"

By Editorial Staff
Published July 7, 2000

The Lawyer For The Abortion Provider Said The Federal Case Is “All About Abortion”

By Lynne Bumpus-Hooper of The Sentinel Staff

OCALA — An abortion doctor said Thursday that he is innocent of federal extortion charges, and one of his attorneys said the fight is “all about abortion.”

Dr. James Pendergraft and his former business partner, Michael Spielvogel, appeared in federal court to enter not-guilty pleas to charges of extortion, mail fraud and scheming to defraud the government. Both are free pending trial.

In a news conference before the hearing, Pendergraft said all he wants to do is go on with life as usual.

“I am not a criminal,” he said.

The two were indicted last month by a federal grand jury on the charges, which carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and nearly $1 million in fines. Spielvogel faces two additional charges of lying to FBI agents and knowingly making false statements.

But Jacob Rose, a West Palm Beach attorney representing Pendergraft, said the doctor was targeted because he runs five clinics that provide abortions in Florida, including two in Orlando and one in Ocala.

Rose and Pendergraft said Ocala was a hostile atmosphere from the moment the Ocala Women’s Clinic opened two years ago.

“This is all about abortion. You know that,” Rose said after the hearing before U.S. Magistrate Gary Jones.

The indictment alleges the two men made false statements about threats directed at them. The government contends the two were trying to extort money from Marion County through a settlement of a civil suit they had filed.

But Rose said the two men were only seeking protection for their patients.

“He wanted free access to the clinic for his patients, security and no harassment. He wasn’t after money,” Rose said of Pendergraft.

Pendergraft filed the lawsuit against anti-abortion demonstrators in December 1998 asking that they be kept back from his facility. The suit also named law enforcement and asked for measures to increase security at the clinic.

The federal indictment says Spielvogel lied about a telephone conversation with Larry Cretul, a Marion County commissioner. Spielvogel said Cretul made threats that scared him. He reported those threats to Pendergraft and the FBI.

The threats included references to two former abortion clinics in Ocala that had burned, Spielvogel said.

Larry Colleton, Pendergraft’s other attorney, said this was the first U.S. case in which a doctor who provides abortions had faced such charges.

“It is unusual, unprecedented. I could find no cases that reflect this one in my research,” said Colleton, a former U.S. attorney.

The federal investigation has been ongoing for more than a year. The civil suit was dismissed earlier this year for lack of action, but after a preliminary injunction was granted last year granting some of Pendergraft’s requests for more security.


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The Beast of Revelation IdentifiedThe Beast of Revelation: Identified (DVD)

Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?

Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!

Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.

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This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).

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This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.

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The Silent Scream (DVD) Eight Languages

“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981

Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.

The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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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

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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.

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