The Latest: Judge keeps Planned Parenthood names sealed
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on Undercover Planned Parenthood video case (all times local):
A judge says the names of 14 Planned Parenthood workers and others will remain sealed during the prosecution of two anti-abortion activists charged with secretly recording them.
The ruling came Monday in San Francisco despite the publication of the names on an anti-abortion website over the weekend.
Judge Christopher Hite said he would punish anyone discovered to have provided the names, which have been ordered to be kept confidential since charges were filed in 2017 against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress.
Prosecutors and Planned Parenthood lawyers say the 14 people fear for their safety and some have received threats.
Lawyers for Daleiden and Merritt want the names made public. They told the judge they didn’t give them to the website and don’t know who did.
The judge says he will rule later on whether to bar the public from viewing the videos after the case concludes.
Planned Parenthood is making an unusual legal demand to join California’s criminal prosecution of two anti-abortion activists charged with invasion of privacy for secretly making videos as they tried to buy fetal material from the organization.
A judge in San Francisco will consider the issue Monday. Prosecutors also want to keep the names of 14 abortion-rights workers who appear in the 2015 videos confidential.
The California attorney general in 2017 charged David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress after Texas prosecutors dropped a similar case against them.
A grand jury in Texas declined to indict Planned Parenthood on the pair’s claims that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue.
Daleiden and Merritt have pleaded not guilty and argue they are undercover journalists shielded from prosecution.