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Jurors Watch Abortion Doctor Video

By Editorial Staff
Published January 10, 2001

The FBI Secretly Recorded The Doctor And His Lawyer Threatening To Bankrupt Marion County In A Lawsuit

By Pedro Ruz Gutierrez of The Sentinel Staff

OCALA — Jurors in the attempted extortion trial of an Orlando abortion doctor watched a secretly recorded video on Tuesday showing him and his attorney talk about wrecking the finances of Marion County government with a lawsuit.

“We are going to go for a verdict of over $100 million,” said Roy Lucas, the attorney who filed the 1998 suit seeking police protection for Dr. James Scott Pendergraft’s newly opened abortion clinic. “They better come up with some money or they are going to get burned. We’ll try to bankrupt the county.”

“Not try. We will bankrupt the county,” said Pendergraft, raising his voice toward the end of the 69-minute video recorded by the FBI. “And I promise you that I’ll put a statue of myself that says Dr. Pendergraft brought freedom to Ocala.”

Pendergraft then added: “That will make Cretul shiver in his pants.”

County Chairman Larry Cretul had authored a 1997 letter asking Pendergraft to reconsider opening the Ocala clinic.

Cretul later went to the FBI, which secretly taped phone calls in which the doctor and his real-estate associate Michael Spielvogel offered to stay out of the county for payments ranging from $500,000 to $1 million.

Pendergraft and Spielvogel are accused of conspiring to extort, mail fraud and scheming to defraud. Spielvogel also faces charges of filing a false affidavit and lying to the FBI.

Lucas has not been charged. Prosecutors say Pendergraft and Spielvogel merely used him in their financial scheme.

The 1999 sting operation, facilitated by an attorney who represented Marion County at the time, is considered crucial by assistant U.S. attorneys, who say Pendergraft and Spielvogel lied about supposed threats made by Cretul. Virgil “Bill” Wright, an attorney representing Marion County and Cretul in the 1998 suit, testified on Tuesday that he agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office after the FBI explained Cretul’s role and let him listen to tape recordings.

Taxpayers would have had to pick up the tab for any damage payments arising out of a lawsuit, Wright said.

Pendergraft and his lawyer won a preliminary court order that allowed off-duty police to guard Pendergraft’s clinic, but the complaint seeking damages was later dismissed by District Judge W. Terrell Hodges.

Hodges, who is also presiding at Pendergraft’s criminal trial, suspended testimony after lunch Tuesday after a juror fell outside the courthouse and was hospitalized with head injuries. It was not clear whether she could return.

The accident was the latest of several unusual incidents at the federal building, including two electrical blackouts during playback of the surveillance video and two more Friday. Hodges blamed a circuit breaker.

Defense attorney Jacob Rose fell in the dark on Friday and reinjured a knee. He is walking on crutches this week.


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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

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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.

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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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.

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

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Amazing GraceAmazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism (DVD)

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Just what is Calvinism?

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