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Wisconsin Man Receives 7+ Year Prison Term for Attacking Pro-Life Group

A man, identified as Hridindu Sankar Roychowdhury, aged 29, admitted guilt to attempting to cause damage using fire or an explosive device by firebombing the Wisconsin Family Action office.

Convicted in Madison, Wisconsin, the individual was handed a sentence of more than seven years in federal prison on April 10.

Roychowdhury, the 29-year-old perpetrator, confessed to the charge of attempting to cause damage through the use of fire or an explosive by targeting the Wisconsin Family Action office. The incident took place in May 2022 during the early hours when the office was unoccupied, resulting in no casualties.

The arson attack was executed shortly after an undisclosed individual protested the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling. Alongside the firebombing, a menacing message was spray-painted on the pro-life organization’s building that read, “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either.”

Describing Roychowdhury’s actions as an act of domestic terrorism, U.S. Attorney Timothy M. O’Shea for the Western District of Wisconsin emphasized the cowardice and anti-democratic nature of such acts. O’Shea condemned domestic terrorism as a threat to democratic values and emphasized the commitment of the U.S. Department of Justice to hold perpetrators accountable.

Expressing disappointment with the verdict, Christine File, the president of Wisconsin Family Action, had recommended a 15-year prison term for Roychowdhury. Despite the charges carrying a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, File felt that the court missed an opportunity to reinforce constitutional rights like free speech and free exercise.

In addition to serving a 90-month sentence, Roychowdhury was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and fined $32,000. File criticized the perceived lack of proportionality in the sentence but reiterated the organization’s unwavering commitment to advocating for pro-life causes.

The surge in threats and attacks on pro-life entities, churches, and pregnancy centers has been attributed to the leaked draft opinion regarding the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court. The vandalism incidents, affecting over 115 organizations and 38 churches in the past two years, have largely remained unsolved, drawing criticism from various groups and lawmakers.

CatholicVote, in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, highlighted the need for action against such attacks, labeling them as voter intimidation and suppression. Despite claims of allocating significant resources to address these incidents, Garland cited the challenges posed by the nocturnal nature of the attacks.

Meanwhile, pro-life activists have faced legal repercussions for impeding access to abortion clinics under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, potentially leading to significant terms of imprisonment for some activists.