Judge: Jury to decide merit of Kansas abortion stalking case

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – A judge will mostly leave it to a jury to decide whether the operator of a Wichita abortion facility had reasonable grounds to seek a protection-from-stalking order against an abortion protester.

U.S. District Judge John Broomes partially granted on Thursday the request from clinic operator Julie Burkhart to throw out some claims in the lawsuit filed by anti-abortion activist Mark Holick.

The dustup stems from anti-abortion protests in 2012 and 2013 near Burkhart’s home. She subsequently got a temporary protection-from-stalking order against him that was dismissed two years later.

Holick then filed a federal lawsuit alleging malicious prosecution and abuse of process.

Broomes dismissed the claim the petition seeking protection from stalking was an abuse of process, but left it to jurors to decide whether the facts constituted malicious prosecution.

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