California Court Drops Most Charges Against Center for Medical Progress

TheLead.com Exclusive!

The Center for Medical Progress became famous over the past few years when they released secret videos of Planned Parenthood. These videos exposed the inner workings of the controversial organization.

However, California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, brought 15 criminal charges against the Center for Medical Progress founder, David Daleiden, and his partner Sandra Merritt. The first 14 charges were for each of the secretly filmed interviews, while the final one was against Merritt for conspiracy to invade privacy.

The first 14 charges were dropped by a San Francisco court yesterday as being legally insufficient. Since they were dropped with leave to amend, however, Becerra can adjust the charges and re-file them against the pair with more evidence.

The final charge against Merritt has been left in place. With relation to this, her attorney said “We will now turn our attention to dismissing the final count. Sandra Merritt did nothing wrong. The complaint by the California Attorney General is unprecedented and frankly will threaten every journalist who provides valuable information to the public. This final count will also fall.”

The case itself has not been without controversy either. Xavier Becerra has received thousands of dollars from Planned Parenthood going back to the 90s. Additionally the judge in their civil case, William Orrick, who ordered a controversial gag order on the case, is an emeritus board member at an organization with close ties to planned parenthood.

Becerra is expected to amend the charges and re-file them against Daleiden and Merritt, so the Center for Medical Progress isn’t in the clear yet, but for now they can celebrate that this puts them on the right track.