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Weekly Ministry Focus

Pray for missionaries facing Las Vegas jail sentence
July 28, 2005

Keith Mason and Nathaniel Enyart are facing six months in jail and a $1000 fine because they supposedly trespassed by stepping on the sidewalk outside a Las Vegas abortion chamber. On February 25, 2004, a team of missionaries who work with Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust stopped in Las Vegas, Nevada, to minister on the Las Vegas strip and at various schools.

The "Birth Control Care Center" on East Sahara Avenue boasts of being the "oldest and most trusted" abortion chamber in Las Vegas.

The group noticed one of the large Las Vegas killing centers, called the "Birth Control Care Center," on East Sahara Avenue, so they decided to spend some time on the sidewalk in front of this killing center offering help and information to the women who had abortion appointments.

Less than an hour after their outreach began, police arrived, telling the group that they were trespassing on the Sahara Avenue sidewalk. Although Mason and the other missionaries did not believe that they were on private property, they agreed to leave so that they could continue their ministry at other locations. A police officer claimed that he had a document which showed that the sidewalk was on private property, but instead of allowing ministry leader Michael Marcavage to view the document, he taunted Marcavage by holding it out and then pulling it away several times.

Marcavage led the ministry team away, but an officer followed missionary Keith Mason to his car, asking him to wait for a few minutes. "Foolishly, I complied," Mason later confessed. Nathaniel Enyart stayed with Mason and the officer for about 45 minutes. Finally, Mason told the officer that he needed to leave, because they were scheduled to be at the college for another ministry outreach. "When I told the officer that I really had to leave, he said that I 'really had' to put my knees on his bumper." The officer then arrested Mason and Enyart and confiscated their video tape.

"I never dreamed that such ridiculous charges would be filed, but they were," Mason said. "February 25th began a cycle of persecution and discrimination that has caused nothing but trouble and hindrance to Gods ministry through me."

Every person who goes into this killing center must first pass a church, displaying a large cross on top of the building. Mason approached the pastor of this church asking him for help, but the pastor responded "why don't you just go picket a bar or something?" In August 2003, LifeSavers Ministries co-chairman Tim Palmquist had met with this pastor to inform him of LSM's Las Vegas "Rally for the Children." During that meeting, the pastor (who insists that he opposes abortion) told Tim that he has an agreement with this killing center to share parking, because his church needs extra parking on Sundays!

When the first court appearance took place, Mason was in Boise, Idaho, leading an effort seeking to save a Ten Commandments monument. Although Mason's attorney appeared for him, the judge fined Mason $75 for not appearing, apparently because the abortion chamber needed to close down for the day so that the abortionist could come to court. "I'd pay $75 to close down an abortion clinic any day!" Mason said.

The judge's behavior on the first day of the trial in November 2004, trying to coerce Mason and Enyart to accept a plea bargain and characterizing the missionaries as terrorists, convinced their attorney to ask the judge to recuse himself. "After a vein-bulging, red-faced diatribe, the judge finally agreed," Mason recalled. "Praise God!"

Read about the verdict.

Judge Cedric Kerns was then assigned to handle the case, which was then postponed several times ("due to the judge's social schedule," according to Mason). Finally, the trial began at the end of May. The prosecution claimed that the video tape which had been confiscated by the police was "undecipherable" and they refused to play it during the trial or to return it to the missionaries.

But the missionaries had switched tapes a few minutes before the police had confiscated the video tape, so the defense was able to present their video evidence which showed the officer asking Mason to stay. This video proved that the officer had committed perjury: the officer had testified that when he asked the missionaries to leave, Mason and Enyart responded "no way!" The officer also falsely claimed that he witnessed Mason and Enyart walking up to the door of the killing center trying to enter. "Police officers, Homeland Security, and the clinic workers all lied through their teeth throughout their testimonies," Mason reported.

Closing arguments will begin at 10 am on July 28. Attorney Jeanie Normandeau will present the closing argument, assisted by Dana Cody of Life Legal Defense Foundation. Please pray for justice to be served and for God to be glorified.

As a full-time missionary, Keith Mason's finances are always limited, but this case has already cost him over $1500. Mason now works with Operation Rescue West in Wichita, Kansas, seeking to save children from notorious abortionist George Tiller. Donations to help Mason may be tax deductible through American Missionary Association, mailed to the following address:

American Missionary Association
P.O. Box 782356
Wichita, KS 67278