Florida Abortion Clinic Arsonist Pleads Guilty

PENSACOLA, FL—Bobby Joe Rogers, 41, of Pensacola, has entered a plea of guilty to a federal grand jury indictment charging him with the New Year’s Day arson that destroyed the American Family Planning Clinic in Pensacola, Florida. The two-count indictment charged Rogers with arson and damaging a reproductive health facility. The guilty plea was announced today by the Department of Justice.

Rogers remains in federal custody and is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers on October 4, 2012. Upon his plea of guilty, Rogers faces a sentence of five to 20 years in prison for the arson count and up to one year in prison for damaging a reproductive health clinic.

“Today’s guilty plea is the culmination of a cooperative law enforcement response committed to bringing to justice someone who used violence to target reproductive health care workers,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute acts of violence that threaten reproductive health workers and establishments.” Pamela C. Marsh, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, added, “I am deeply grateful for the cooperation of our federal, state, and local partners, who worked tirelessly to very quickly identify the perpetrator of this hate-motivated crime. The Department of Justice has prioritized fighting violent crime and protecting civil rights, and our office takes both of these priorities very seriously, as demonstrated by the swift prosecution of this case.”

The prosecution of Rogers is the result of the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Pensacola Police Department; the State Fire Marshal’s Office; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edwin Knight and Chiraag Bains, Trial Attorney with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

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