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Man Charged With Torching Abortion Clinic

October 15, 1993 GMT

HOUSTON (AP) _ A 19-year-old anti-abortion advocate has confessed to federal authorities that he torched an abortion clinic after several unsuccessful attempts.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Houston filed a criminal complaint Thursday accusing Joshua David Graff of Sulphur, La., of setting the West Loop Clinic ablaze Sunday night.

Graff, who keeps a second residence in Houston, also has participated in anti-abortion demonstrations in the Baton Rouge, La., area, the complaint said.

He was questioned by two investigators in Lake Charles on Wednesday. Graff then admitted that he intentionally tried to burn the building in Houston and described how he had previously attempted to destroy the same building, but had failed, according to authorities.

Graff on Thursday appeared in Lake Charles before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alonso P. Wilson, who was expected to allow his extradition to Texas. He’s being held in the Calcasieu Parish Jail.

If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison without the possibility of parole and fines of $250,000.