A Christian ministry whose leaders have spent 14 years outside an abortion clinic in Granite City, Ill., taking photographs of abortionists, clinic employees and customers are being credited with the arrest of a man on suspicion of the rape of a child.
Bryant, Ark., Det. Jimmy Long has confirmed it was a photograph provided by the Small Victories ministry across state lines that helped secure a case against suspect Jeffery Cheshier, 41, who had been accused by an underage girl of rape.
But she reported he forced her to go to the “Hope” Clinic for Women abortion business in Granite City for an abortion, so there was no evidence – until Long ran across a reference to the Small Victories ministry and he checked their web site.
When he contacted the pro-life group, they were able to provide photographs, with an identifiable license plate number, of the suspect’s car at the abortion business at the time the girl claimed she was taken there.
Angela Michael, who with her husband Daniel and their children run Small Victories, had just returned home from doing a radio program, and her husband told her to take the telephone because it was a detective.
It was Long, who said he was calling on a hunch. He described the situation.
“I saw that you have pictures and archives,” Long said, according to Angela. He wanted to know if there was a photograph of a certain car at the abortion business on a certain date.
“I said to (daughter) Mia, ‘Look this up,'” Angela said. “And we had three incriminating pictures.”
“I remembered how upset she was, and pleading with him (the suspect) not to make her go in,” she said. “The detective asked, ‘Do you have the car?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you have the plate?’ ‘Yes.’ And I read it to him.”
“And in the background I heard the clicking of the handcuffs,” Angela Michael said, along with the comment “We’ve got him.” The suspect now is being held on $75,000 bond on counts being developed in two counties, authorities said.
Long told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he called even though he believed his chances were “slim to none.”
The rape allegation was made by the 15-year-old when officers responded to Cheshier’s home recently on a disturbance call. She told them that Cheshier had sexually abused her for a year.
The clinic’s executive director, Sally Burgess, told KSDK television she knew nothing about this particular case but there are safeguards in place to protect juveniles.
“Anytime a teenager lets on to us that she’s in any sort of jeopardy, we are going to do what’s in her best interest and that’s report it to the authorities,” she said.
Angela Michael said she’s been monitoring the clinic for 14 years, and has heard testimony from numerous former workers. All the clinic asks the girls, she told WND, is Visa or Mastercard?
Police in Bryant told the station in light of what happened to the alleged victim, questions need to be asked.
“Even as officers, we see a lot of stuff but this is very disturbing to us,” said Sgt. Harold Edmonson. “I’ve been in law enforcement 20 years and this is a first for me. We need to make some stricter laws on this.”
Angela Michael said the Granite City clinic is known nationwide because of the circumstances. Its abortionists do late-term abortions and the state of Illinois has no parental notification law.
The ministry parks its ultrasound van on the public street in front of the abortion business and encourages girls to miss their abortion appointments. Angela Michael said she’s seen “an abundance” of cases where an older man obviously is forcing an underage girl into the clinic.
Calling Granite City authorities, however, has been futile, even though there are mandatory reporting requirements if there is a suspicion of assault or injury to a child.
“Those police officers are to serve and protect, but who are they serving and protecting?” she asked.
The situation is one that has come up in other places. In Kansas, outgoing Attorney General Phill Kline sought records from abortion clinics after statistics showed there were dozens of abortions on underage girls, but no reports of rape on a child, despite state laws requiring those reports.
The abortion industry reportedly responded to his investigation of those circumstances with an organized campaign to deny him re-election in favor of a candidate who had publicly promised to discontinue those investigations.
Operation Rescue, one of the nation’s leading pro-life Christian groups, watched the developments closely, and said Kline’s investigation of abortion clinics for “the concealment of child rape and illegal late-term abortions” was the key to the race.
“Kansas has opted to continue the practice of looking the other way when innocent young girls are taken to abortion clinics by their rapists, who are looking to destroy the evidence of their crimes,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “It has also voted to ignore violations of Kansas law that bans post viability abortions.”
Kline had cited the 2003 state statistic that there were 78 abortions on girls under the age of 15. In a state where the legal age of consent is 16, how could 78 girls become pregnant and obtain abortions without a single report of sexual assault, or rape, on a child, he wondered.
He went to court to obtain the records, and just recently announced they had been forwarded to him from a district court where identifying information about the procedures was removed.
He also just confirmed a few days ago, in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, that the medical records also indicate late-term abortions that were done for reasons that Kansas law doesn’t allow.
His Democratic opponent had said during his campaign he would start a domestic violence unit, without any additional expense to the state. “Some of the money that’s been used on misplaced priorities could easily fund” the plans, he had told the Lawrence Journal-World.
He cited Kline’s investigation of the abortion businesses run by George Tiller in Wichita and Planned Parenthood as an example.
The Democrat also got a huge boost in his campaign when a non-profit organization that the newspaper linked to Tiller mailed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of mailings critical of Kline.
“One of the first steps for a rapist when they have a child victim and the child is pregnant is to eradicate the evidence of the rape,” Kline said.
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