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Man apologizes for torching women's clinic

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DAVENPORT -- A Detroit man was sentenced to five years in prison Friday for trying to burn down a women's health clinic that he mistakenly thought performed abortions.

David McMenemy, 46, pleaded guilty in January to arson against a business affecting interstate commerce. He could have been sentenced up to 20 years in prison.

Police said McMenemy drove to Davenport and crashed his car into the Edgerton Women's Health Care Center lobby at 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 11. He then lit a Gatorade bottle filled with gasoline on fire, walked away from his car and surrendered to firefighters.

McMenemy was ordered to pay $263,252 in restitution for damage to the clinic. The judge also ordered McMenemy to follow substance abuse treatment and continue to receive mental health treatment while imprisoned and when he is released.

"It was wrong," McMenemy told U.S. District Court Judge John Jarvey at the sentencing hearing. "Even if it was an abortion clinic, it would still be wrong.

"I'm sorry for the hurt and shame of my family, and I want to distance myself from any pro-life organizations."

The Edgerton clinic provides prenatal care and medical services to low-income and underprivileged women. It does not perform abortions, nor does it make abortion referrals, clinic officials said.


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