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Pendergraft serves 46 month sentence

By Editorial Staff
Published July 25, 2001

By Rick Cundiff, Staff Writer, Ocala Star Banner

OCALA — Dr. James Scott Pendergraft IV is scheduled to report to prison today to begin serving a 46-month sentence.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Tuesday a motion to allow Pendergraft to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction on attempted extortion, conspiracy and mail fraud charges.

Pendergraft, 44, owns the Ocala Women’s Center and four other Florida clinics which provide abortion services. He is expected to report to a federal minimum-security prison camp in Atlanta sometime today.

Pendergraft’s lawyer, Bruce Rogow said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the appellate court’s refusal to allow Pendergraft to stay out of prison while he appeals his case.

“We will continue to work to reverse the conviction and secure his release,” Rogow said.

Although Pendergraft could have appealed Tuesday’s decision to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, he chose not to, Rogow said.

“We’re not going to do that,” he said. “The energy that it would take would not be rewarded with success.”

Pendergraft could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Spokeswoman Marti Mackenzie said he had accepted going to prison.

“When I spoke with him, he said ‘Marti, I’m very upbeat,’ “ she said.

All five of Pendergraft’s clinics will remain open while Pendergraft is in prison, Mackenzie said.

“He has an extensive corporation set up, and nothing is going to change,” she said. “He has doctors in place who have been working in the clinics a long time.”

Mackenzie is confident the appeals court will eventually vindicate Pendergraft, she said.

“I know him to be a man of the utmost integrity,” she said. “He has been, as far as I am concerned, slandered in the courtroom.”

Rogow also said he is confident Pendergraft will eventually prevail.

“I’m a believer in his case,” Rogow said. “I think there are some serious legal issues here.”

Pendergraft and Spielvogel were convicted Feb. 1, in Ocala, following a nearly month-long trial. Spielvogel began serving a 41-month sentence at a federal prison camp at Eglin Air Force Base on July 10. Spielvogel was convicted of the three charges Pendergraft was convicted of, and two additional charges of filing a false affidavit and making false statements to the FBI.

The charges against both men stemmed from comments they made during a meeting in March 1999 between Pendergraft, his then-lawyer Roy Lucas, Spielvogel and county attorney Virgil “Bill” Wright.

At that meeting, Spielvogel repeated allegations he had made in an earlier affidavit that Marion County Commission Chairman Larry Cretul had threatened him, Pendergraft and the Ocala clinic. Pendergraft said in a separate affidavit that Spielvogel had told him of those threats.

During the trial, Spielvogel admitted Cretul had never directly made such threats, and that he had had faked a telephone call in which Cretul allegedly made the remark, in Pendergraft’s presence.


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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.

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

Download the Free Study Guide!

Just what is Calvinism?

Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?

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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?

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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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