A Pagosa Springs man who trespassed and assaulted a security guard at Planned Parenthood in Durango received probation Tuesday and was ordered to pay $2,874 in restitution.
Before sentencing, Jean-Paul Wright made a 25-minute speech about his empathy toward women and children and the religious service projects with which he has been involved. He called himself a "conservative feminist" and showed La Plata County Judge Martha Minot a Boy Scout badge he received at the age of 13.
Wright, 49, said the June 11, 2008, incident wouldn't have occurred if he didn't trespass on Planned Parenthood's property to retrieve his protest sign after the wind blew it onto the agency's property in Bodo Industrial Park.
He never apologized to the victim, Pamela Beckert, 50, who said she suffered head, neck, back, ankle and shoulder injuries.
Wright was facing up to 18 months in jail after a jury found him guilty Dec. 19, 2008, of trespassing and assault.
Jail was not appropriate, Minot said, because Wright has no criminal history, his actions were reckless - not intentional - and he is unlikely to re-offend.
Wright was protesting Planned Parenthood's abortion services when his sign blew across the property line. Beckert, a security guard at the time, refused to return the sign, and Wright charged her, causing her to fall to the ground and be injured.
Beckert was seeking nearly $40,000 in restitution for medical expenses, but Minot said there was insufficient evidence to show her shoulder injury was caused by the attack. Most of the expenses were related to Beckert's shoulder surgery.
After Tuesday's hearing, Beckert said she is "satisfied" with the one-year probation sentence and "accepting" of the restitution amount. Had a doctor testified at Tuesday's restitution hearing, Beckert said she is confident the judge would have awarded her the costs from her shoulder surgery.
"He never apologized; there was nothing like that," Beckert said of Wright's statement to the court.
In addition to serving one year on probation, Wright has two permanent restraining orders prohibiting him from going within 20 yards of Planned Parenthood and 100 yards of Beckert.