Democratic Lawmaker Apologizes for Harassing Pro-Life Teen Girls 5 Months After the Incident


The Pennsylvania Democratic legislator who offered money in exchange for the identities of pro-life teenagers praying outside of a Planned Parenthood facility in Philadelphia last spring has apologized.

State Rep. Brian Sims sent a handwritten note to Ashley Garecht, the mother of a 13-year-old and 15-year-old daughter, who was also present when the incident took place on April 18.

“Dear Ashley, I want to reiterate my sincere apologies to you and your family,” Sims’ card reads, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“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.”

Sims’s note to the Garecht family comes as the Pennsylvania legislature was considering a resolution to censure him, offered by Republican state Rep. Jerry Knowles.

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Knowles withdrew the resolution after Sims’s apology became public.

“It’s sad that it took more than five months for Rep. Sims to acknowledge he did something very wrong, but he did finally apologize to the people he bullied, harassed and doxed at the Philadelphia abortion clinic,” Knowles said in a Monday news release.

“Rep. Sims’s own arrogance led me to call for a censure, but now that he finally acknowledged his wrongdoing, I am asking that the resolution be withdrawn. I hope the Representative learned something from this experience.”

Garecht indicated in a statement included in Knowles’ news release that she and her family have forgiven Sims.

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“This weekend our family received an apology card from Rep. Brian Sims for his behavior toward our daughters this past April. We forgave Mr. Sims many months ago and we extend that forgiveness to him again today,” Garecht said.

“We hope that he will modify his conduct in the future,” she added. “We also call on him to make a public statement of contrition as an appropriate balance to his public acts of harassment and as a reminder to others that dangerous and threatening behavior toward those they disagree with has no place in our society.”

During Easter week last April, Garecht, her two daughters and their 15-year-old friend were praying outside of a Philadelphia Planned Parenthood facility when Sims approached them as he filmed with his phone camera.

In the video, Sims calls the girls “pseudo-Christian protestors.”

“I’ve got a $100 for anybody who will identify any of these three,” the legislator said.

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“There’s nothing Christian at all about what you’re doing,” Sims said. “Nothing Christian or loving or godly about what you’re doing.”

In May, Sims offered an apology for engaging with the pro-life activists, and thereby not following Planned Parenthood policy.

“My emotions took over because I was, and am, angry,” Sims said. “I’m angry that despite abortion being legal everywhere, anti-choice zealots are causing panic, anger, confusion, and rage for so many women.”

“I should not have disrespected Planned Parenthood’s policies of not engaging with protesters. For that, I’m absolutely sorry,” he added.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith