A Pennsylvania lawmaker who harassed and threatened to dox a woman and teen girls outside a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood has privately apologized to the victims in a greeting card, five months after the incident.
The private apology issued to Ashley Garecht and her daughters came in the mail this past week. “Dear Ashley, I want to reiterate my sincere apologies to you and your family,” read the card. “I regret the harm that I caused and I have learned a great deal from this. I can only ask for your forgiveness and I wish you all the best in the future. Sincerely, Brian Sims.”
Representative Sims had not apologized prior to this. Shortly after the incident, however, Sims did issue an apology to Planned Parenthood where the incident occurred, saying he regretted that his actions could have reflected poorly on the abortion corporation.
The incident in question involved Sims mocking and harassing the Garecht family and a friend, but according to Garecht, Sims specifically targeted the teen girls, calling them “pseudo-Christian.” He live streamed the incident and offered money to anyone watching the livestream who could identify them. “What we’ve got here is a bunch of … pseudo Christian protesters who’ve been out here shaming young girls for being here. So, here’s the deal, I’ve got $100 to anybody who will identify these three, and I will donate to Planned Parenthood,” he says in the video.
Sims’ apology may be partly a response to another Pennsylvania lawmaker’s censure, which was introduced on the house floor in June, though it never went up for a vote. After the apology, the lawmaker withdrew his resolution and said it was “sad” that Sims took more than five months to apologize to the family.
The family has spoken to news sources and expressed that, while they wish the apology had been public and that he had taken responsibility for his actions, the family the nevertheless accepted the apology. “While we forgive Mr. Sims and appreciate that he has begun to accept responsibility for his actions, we also know that this card is a far cry from the public accountability that was called for at the Stand Against Bullying Rally back in May,” Garecht told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Mr. Sims should make a public statement of remorse as an appropriate balance to his video of intimidation and harassment that he proudly publicized to the world via Twitter.”
“Our family forgave Mr. Sims many months ago and we extend that forgiveness again now,” a statement from Garecht sent to The Daily Wire said. “It is our sincere hope that Mr. Sims will modify his conduct in the future and that he will stand in defense of all citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights in the public square, including those who advocate for life outside of abortion facilities.”
“We take Mr. Sims at his word that ‘he has learned a great deal’ from the response to his filmed harassment and intimidation,” Garecht continued, “and so he now bears the responsibility of showing by his actions that dangerous and threatening behavior toward others he disagrees with has no place in our society.”
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