Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Attorney challenges Cretul's testimony

By Editorial Staff
Published January 9, 2001

By Rick Cundiff, Staff Writer, Ocala Star Banner

OCALA — Conspiracy, lies and audiotapes were the source of debate on Monday at the federal extortion trial of Dr. James Scott Pendergraft IV and Michael Spielvogel.

Pendergraft is the owner of the Ocala Women’s Center on North Pine Avenue, a clinic that, among other procedures, offers abortion services. He also operates other clinics in Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

The day began with Pendergraft and Spielvogel’s attorneys questioning the propriety of Marion County Commissioner Larry Cretul’s review over the weekend of transcripts of telephone calls between himself and Pendergraft or Spielvogel.

Cretul had secretly taped the calls at the direction of FBI agents investigating Pendergraft and Spielvogel.

From the witness stand, Cretul acknowledged that he had reviewed the transcripts on Sunday, and had spoken with FBI Special Agent Pamela Piersanti.

Although witnesses at the trial are prohibited from talking with each other, Piersanti is exempt from that rule because she is the FBI case agent handling the case.

“I’m sure that we didn’t talk about the testimony that I was about to give,” he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Devereaux objected to the defense attorneys’ contention that Cretul might have done something improper.

“Counsel is clearly trying to suggest some type of wrongdoing,” he said. “There’s no basis for that.”

A knee injury sustained in the courtroom during a power failure Friday didn’t slow down Pendergraft attorney Jacob Rose’s rapid-fire barrage of questions in cross-examining Cretul. Starting promptly at 9 a.m., Rose made his way on crutches to a stool at the courtroom lectern facing the witness stand.

Sitting at the lectern throughout the day, Rose quizzed Cretul on virtually every aspect of his taped conversations with Pendergraft, demanding to know Cretul’s motives.

Pendergraft and Spielvogel were indicted last June, in a five-count indictment that alleges the two men conspired to extort millions of dollars from Marion County government by making false and fraudulent statements in a lawsuit Pendergraft filed in December 1998.

Senior U.S. District Judge William Terrell Hodges dismissed that lawsuit a year later, after Pendergraft and attorney Roy Lucas failed to pursue it.

The indictment alleges Pendergraft and Spielvogel lied in the lawsuit by saying Cretul threatened Spielvogel and the clinic. The indictment also alleges that Pendergraft and Spielvogel, through attorney Lucas, threatened to bankrupt the county by asking for a $100 million judgment.

Both Pendergraft and Spielvogel are charged with conspiracy to commit extortion, lying under oath and mail fraud. Spielvogel also faces charges of offering false testimony and making false statements to FBI investigators. If convicted, Pendergraft faces up to 30 years in prison and $750,000 in fines, while Spielvogel could face up to 40 years and $1.25 million in fines.

Rose spent much of the day Monday questioning Cretul’s motivations and asking whether he had a personal interest in seeing Pendergraft arrested. Cretul testified last week that he personally opposes abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the woman.

Rose asked Cretul if he expected Pendergraft to say something incriminating during one of the taped calls.

“I had no desire for him to say it,” Cretul responded. “In fact, I was hoping he wouldn’t.”

Throughout much of the day, Cretul repeated that he was doing as he was told by Piersanti, a rationale he has used often since first taking the witness stand last Wednesday.

Cretul acknowledged he lied to Pendergraft in the taped conversations, on Piersanti’s instructions, about the possibility of the county or someone else paying Pendergraft not to open a clinic in Ocala.

“If you were not expecting him to say anything incriminating, why on God’s earth did you lie to him time after time?” Rose asked.

“At the direction of the FBI, sir,” Cretul responded. “If you want to characterize it as a lie, fine, but I was doing what I was told to do.”

Rose asked Cretul repeatedly about lying to Pendergraft, to the point that Hodges intervened.

“Mr. Rose, I think the subject of this cross-examination has been exhausted,” Hodges said. “(Cretul) has admitted he lied. I suggest you move on to another subject.”

Cretul and Pendergraft had their last recorded conversation on April 8, 1998. Rose asked why records of Cretul’s cell phone calls showed several later conversations with FBI agent Piersanti. Rose wanted to know what Piersanti and Cretul discussed during those calls.

“It may well have been why there may have been a black Mercedes sitting in front of my father’s house taking pictures,” Cretul responded. “I was told to report any unusual situations that might occur, possibly for my personal safety.”

Cretul explained that his father had confronted a man outside his home one day who was taking pictures. The man said he was taking pictures “for a friend,” then sped off, Cretul said.

Toward the end of Cretul’s testimony, Rose touched on the heart of two of the government’s charges, the affidavits Spielvogel and Pendergraft filed in the civil case.

In his affidavit, Spielvogel alleged that Cretul made threats against the clinic and Spielvogel’s wife. In his own affidavit, Pendergraft swore he believed Spielvogel was telling the truth because Spielvogel had told him about having such a conversation with Cretul.

Under questioning by Rose, Cretul said he had no knowledge about what Pendergraft might have believed but said he never made any threats.

Cretul’s testimony concluded at 3:50 p.m. Monday, after 3 days on the witness stand. The trial is scheduled to continue this morning.


Forerunner - Home » Florida's Murder Industry »

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

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

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Go Stand Speak (DVD)

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?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

$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


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.

“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine

Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese

Running Time: 28 minutes

$17.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


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.

$19.95 — 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