A pastor’s criminal charges are moving forward in an Oregon municipal court after a judge refused to dismiss the case against him.
Afshin Yaghtin, who is represented by the Pacific Justice Institute, is charged with obstructing justice after Spokane police officers arrested him in June outside a public library, where protesters and counter-protesters were gathered to face off over a “drag queen story hour” event.
Yaghtin claims he was not there as a protester but wanted to enter the library to observe the controversial event, which means law enforcement potentially punished him unlawfully.
OneNewsNow reported in an August story that PJI attorney Jorge Ramos was filing a motion to dismiss the case.
"This pastor didn't do anything illegal," says PJI attorney Brad Dacus. "He wasn't protesting. He didn't have a bullhorn. He didn't have a sign. He just wanted to enter the public library to watch a public event where the public was invited to attend."
The pastor was asked by police if he supported the "story hour" and told them he did not but wanted to attend to pray silently for the children who were there. He was later told he could not enter.
OneNewsNow emailed Spokane’s city attorney for comment as well as the Spokane Police Department but has not received a response.
"It's going to be going to trial it looks like,” Dacus tells OneNewsNow. “And we are ready and willing and able to defend him, and we're hopeful that it'll turn out positively and he will be acquitted.”