An arson attack on a Planned Parenthood facility that was reported as a hate crime inspired by undercover videos was actually an incident of domestic violence, a senior executive of the organization has been forced to admit in a San Francisco court room.
Jenna Tosh, the CEO of Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, made the admission under cross-examination Thursday in a lawsuit the organization has taken against David Daleiden and his colleagues over undercover videos that showed senior executives negotiate over the sale of body parts from abortions.
Tosh told the trial in San Francisco that in the immediate three months after the videos were released there was a ten-fold increase in security incidents. Planned Parenthood is seeking damages from Daleiden and his co-defendants for damages they say were caused by the videos. They are also seeking damages for breach of contract and fraud for misrepresentations made to infiltrate the organization and for breach of privacy for filming the executives during negotiations.
However, under cross-examination, Tosh admitted that the arson, one of the alleged security incidents following the release of the videos, was not connected to the release and was as a result of domestic violence involving a violent partner of a staff member. At the time, the fire at a clinic in Modesto was widely reported as a hate attack. The left-wing outlet Think Progress said the arson attack was inspired by Daleiden’s “malicious video campaign.”
Tosh also admitted that police believed the same perpetrator was behind the smashing of a window at the premises. She added that the organization had received a letter from a concerned resident apologizing for the attack and offering prayers for the local Planned Parenthood. However, she admitted Planned Parenthood also counted the prayerful and apologetic letter as one of the “security incidents” that made up the alleged increase after the Daleiden video releases.
Tosh said that since learning the true nature of the attack, Planned Parenthood had made no attempt to correct its listing as a “hate crime.”
Tosh also stated that they counted critical tweets and phone calls as “security incidents” after the release of the video series.
Planned Parenthood had originally sought $20 million in damages for fraud and trespass against Daleiden and his colleagues. However, Judge William Orrick reduced potential damages to $600,000. Daleiden and his colleagues are denying liability. In situations where he broke the law regarding recording people without their permission Daleiden is claiming he was a journalist and that it is allowed under California law where it can be utilized to prevent a felony assault on a person. Daleiden recorded Planned Parenthood executives stating they changed abortion techniques to ensure better and more profitable body parts were retrieved for sale. He also claims that the recordings took place in public places such as restaurants and hotels where participants have no expectation of privacy.
Planned Parenthood is not suing Daleiden for defamation or slander, and in an opening argument, the Planned Parent lawyers did not state that the videos were inaccurate or exaggerated. They instead claimed they were filmed through illegal methods. The organization is also claiming Daleiden and his colleagues are guilty of fraud for setting up a fake company and identifications to start the business conversations with the Planned Parenthood executives.
Phelim McAleer is a journalist and filmmaker. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling book “Gosnell – The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer.”