The San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday dismissed 14 of 15 criminal counts against one of the pro-life journalists whose undercover videos exposed Planned Parenthood’s alleged involvement in the illicit market for fetal body parts from abortions.
Sandra Merritt was charged with filming 14 people, including Planned Parenthood executives, without their consent from 2013 to 2015 as a part of the Center for Medical Progress investigation. She is still charged with one count of conspiracy to invade privacy.
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which represents Ms. Merritt, called Wednesday’s dismissals a “huge victory.”
“We will now turn our attention to dismissing the final count,” Mr. Staver said in a statement. “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.”
David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress, was also charged with 15 felonies by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Mr. Becerra served in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than two decades and previously accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood.
Horatio Mihet, vice president of legal affairs at Liberty Counsel, appeared in court Wednesday with Ms. Merritt. He said the charges against Ms. Merritt are “legally deficient, vague and full of inconsistencies.”
“No other citizen journalist or organization has ever been charged with a crime for undercover recordings,” Mr. Mihet said.
• Bradford Richardson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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