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February 05, 2016

Activist Rejects Probation Deal in Planned Parenthood Case

The anti-abortion activist indicted last month on charges stemming from a series of Planned Parenthood video stings surrendered to Texas authorities Thursday and was released on a $3,000 bond, the Associated Press and The Washington Post report.

David Daleiden, head of the Center for Medical Progress, reportedly rejected a plea deal offering pretrial diversion, a form of probation that could ultimately see the charges dismissed. The center made headlines and roiled conservative politics last summer when it released secretly shot videos that Mr. Daleiden claims show Planned Parenthood profited from the sale of fetal tissue, which the women's health nonprofit denies.

A Harris County, Tex., grand jury convened to investigate the tissue allegations found no wrongdoing by the organization and instead charged Mr. Daleiden and a colleague, Sandra Merritt, over their use of phony driver's licenses to gain access to Planned Parenthood premises. A spokesman for the county District Attorney's Office said pretrial diversion is commonly offered to first-time nonviolent offenders but that prosecutors are ready to go to trial and "our case is strong."