David Daleiden, the antiabortion activist who mounted an undercover “sting” targeting Planned Parenthood, turned himself into Texas authorities Thursday morning, a week after he was indicted by a Harris County grand jury.
He is expected to post bond immediately and then appear at a media conference at the Harris County courthouse.
Daleiden has been charged with a felony count of tampering with government documents in connection with a fake California driver’s license that he used to gain access to private meetings of abortion providers, a charge that carries the possibility of jail time. The indictment includes a misdemeanor charge related to the purchase of human tissue.
One of Daleiden’s partners in the project, who was also indicted, Sandra Merritt, turned herself in Tuesday. Prosecutors offered to reduce her felony charge to a misdemeanor, which would spare her jail time, but her attorneys said she had not accepted the offer as of Tuesday evening because she believes she did nothing wrong.
The project undertaken by Daleiden and Merritt attempted to prove that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue for a profit. Daleiden spent 30 months posing as a representative from a tissue procurement company, lunching with top Planned Parenthood executives and gaining access to private areas of clinics. In the summer, he released several edited videos as well as longer footage of his encounters. The project prompted multiple investigations by states and Congress, none of which have so far found wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood.
Harris County was among the jurisdictions looking into the allegations against Planned Parenthood, but last week a grand jury announced no findings against the women’s health and abortion provider. Instead, it handed down indictments of Daleiden and Merritt.