Courts
Jonathan Miano, The Times

CHICAGO — A Dyer man charged last week with threatening to commit violence at women’s reproductive health services clinics in Chicago and Northwest Indiana was released on bond Tuesday. 

Luke Daniel Wiersma, 33, is charged in the Northern District Court of Illinois with transmitting threats to injure and using threats of force to intimidate or interfere with reproductive health services.

Wiersma was ordered to be released Tuesday under the conditions of home detention, location monitoring and no internet access, according to Joseph Fitzpatrick, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago. 

Wiersma posted online threats of violence on at least seven occasions in October and November 2017, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

As an alleged member of an anti-abortion extremist group Army of God, Wiersma submitted the threats through the clinics’ websites, the complaint states.

The clinic in Chicago provides reproductive health services, while the clinic in Hammond provides counseling services related to women’s reproductive health.

Wiersma was arrested Feb. 6. 

In one of the threats against the Chicago clinic on Oct. 29, Wiersma allegedly stated, “I will do anything and everything to stop the unmitigated murders of fetuses. I will do anything to stop the atrocities committed by your clinic every minute of every day at your clinic. You are all pieces of (expletive) and I will kill to stop these atrocities. I will blow you up if I have to, burn the clinic down. I will do whatever is necessary I swear to God I will. After that you are in God’s hands and He will do His thing.”

Transmitting a threat to injure is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison, while using threats of force to intimidate or interfere with reproductive health services is punishable by up to one year in prison.

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Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.