Religious Liberties

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Uncategorized

Essayli and Brown LLP Secures Dismissal of Criminal Charges for Husband and Wife Exercising Religious Liberties

Irvine, CA – Sean Bohnet and his wife, Rachel Bohnet, attended an outdoor church worship service last September and were arrested by police in Moscow, Idaho for violating social distancing rules imposed by the city. Sean and Rachel were hauled away in handcuffs as their church sang hymns and Bible psalms outdoors. The church held the outdoor service, in part, to protest the mayor’s mask mandate.

A video uploaded to social media showing the arrest went viral and received national media coverage. Sean and Rachel retained Essayli & Brown LLP to vigorously challenge the legal merits of the city’s case and to defend their Constitutional right to exercise their Freedom of Religion.

After several months of prolonged discussions with the city prosecutor’s office, the city finally reached the right conclusion and agreed to voluntarily dismiss the criminal charges against Sean and Rachel.

“This is a victory for religious freedom and the cherished God-given rights protected by the United States Constitution,” said Bilal A. Essayli, the lead attorney on the case. “We are glad that the city ultimately reached the appropriate and legal conclusion that our clients did not violate any laws by participating in the outdoor religious services. We thank the city prosecutor for listening to our arguments and making the right call.”