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From: Eve, Anita (USAPAE)

Sent: Friday, September 23, 2022 8:19 AM

To: Matt Heffron <

Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Target letter sent to Mr. Mark Houck

Gentlemen –

Earlier this week, a federal grand jury returned the attached indictment charging Mark Houck with offenses in violation of
18 USC 248(a)(1) and (2). This morning, he was taken into custody by FBI agents and is being transported to the
Philadelphia FBI office for processing. He will have an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Lloret at noon today.
The government intends to ask for his release on his own recognizance secured by a $10,000 bond. At a later time, we
will ask for a date for his arraignment, which we can discuss.

Today’s initial appearance should be virtual. I will be in contact with Judge Lloret’s chambers very shortly to inform him of
the arrest and today’s requested proceeding. The Court will then provide me with a link for the hearing. Please me if you
or Mr. Williamson are available to participate in the hearing and I will share the link with you.

I will also be sending a letter to the Clerk’s office to unseal the indictment. The case number is 22-CR-323 and is assigned
to Judge Pappert.

Anita Eve

Assistant United States Attorney

From: Matt Heffron <

Sent: Thursday, June 9, 2022 12:15 PM

To: Eve, Anita (USAPAE) < >

Subject: [EXTERNAL] Target letter sent to Mr. Mark Houck


As you know from my telephone messages to you on May 21 and June 7, I am one of the attorneys representing Mark Houck, together
with Pennsylvania attorney John Williamson. 

I understand you have just returned from being out of the office for 10 days and are probably very busy. (I used to be in charge of one
of the criminal divisions of the Phoenix USAO, and I remember the madness after returning from any break.)  On the other hand, since
you sent my client a target letter, I think it is necessary for me to make contact with you.

I assume you are contemplating a FACE action.  You probably are familiar with the Sulpizio case from your district court, but it is
possible it has not yet come to your attention.  Just 2 ½ years ago,  your district considered nearly identical facts to those of the
Houck/Love incident and ruled no violation of FACE had occurred. I have set out the operative language below, adding emphasis to
some of the remarkably similar facts and to the reasoning for the holding.

Plaintiff contends that Sulpizio's actions in April 2017 where ‘Sulpizio physically pushed an
AWC volunteer escort away from the car window of a person attempting to enter the AWC Clinic ...
easily satif[ies] [the] burden to show a reasonable probability that Sulpizio's actions were ‘force’
within the meaning of the FACE Act.’ …
At the Preliminary Injunction Hearing, as described above, Plaintiff introduced into evidence
the video of this incident from April 15, 2017. [One of two such contact incidents.] Sulpizio did
not ‘come up to an escort volunteering at the Center’ prior to making contact, as in Cain, but, instead,
Escort Stiles walked down the driveway, approached the car, and confronted Sulpizio at the car. This
then positioned Escort Stiles and Sulpizio literally nose to nose with each other with neither of them
backing off. Certainly, it created a mutually volatile situation in which one of them or someone else
could have gotten hurt. The Court observed on film an instance where both parties, Escort Stiles and
Sulpizio, were equally responsible for being in each other's face, neither backing off, and the contact
was a consequence of this mutually close and brief encounter. At all times, Defendant Sulpizio was
postured in the public right of way and never crossed the line into the private area. …
Furthermore, even if the Court were to find that Sulpizio engaged in “force” against Escort
Stiles, the video shows that Sulpizio did not use force because Escort Stiles was providing
reproductive health services, but instead used force in connection with a mutual argument over
Sulpizio's positioning and the time he was spending exercising what he believed to be his
Constitutional rights. Therefore, the Court does not find that Plaintiff has shown a reasonable
probability of eventual success in proving that Defendant Sulpizio violated FACE by using force
to intentionally injure or intimidate or attempt to injure or intimidate a person because that person is
providing reproductive health services.
Allentown Women's Ctr., Inc. v. Sulpizio, 403 F. Supp. 3d 461, 468 (E.D. Pa. 2019)
In addition, there are a fair number of cases that hold FACE requires a defendant not merely to intend the
physical act, but rather to act with the specific intent to interfere with “reproductive health services.”  That
did not occur under the facts of Houck/Love incident.
At the Thomas More Society, several of us have successfully defended FACE cases, both criminal and civil.
We are willing to do so for Mr. Houck as well.  The unnecessary use of judicial resources, though,
particularly under these circumstances, makes this case one that should not go forward, in my opinion.  If the
government decides to go forward nonetheless, I will accept a summons on my client’s behalf, rather put Mr.
Houck and his family through needless disruption.
Thank you in advance for your courtesy. I look forward to hearing from you.

Matt Heffron
10506 Burt Circle/ Suite 110
Omaha, Nebraska 68114

Mark Houck Indictment (signed)_001.pdf


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