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Home security tight for man on bail in abortion case

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Published:   |   Updated: July 5, 2013 at 05:29 PM

TAMPA - A man accused of tricking his girlfriend into taking an abortion pill by telling her it was an antibiotic was released from jail Friday under unusual conditions.

John Andrew Welden, 28, is to be under around-the-clock camera or visual surveillance by private security guards at his parents' house on Lutz Lake Fern Road in Odessa.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli also ordered that Welden's bedroom and bathroom be made "inaccessible" by a wall or bars on the windows. Welden's personal contacts are restricted to his immediate family and his legal team. He will also be denied internet access and he had to surrender his passport.

"He will abide by all the conditions set by Judge Porcelli," said his attorney, Todd Foster. "We will have better access to meet with him. He'll be working with us on his defense."

The Weldens must pay the cost of the security measures.

Welden was released from the Pinellas County Jail on Friday afternoon on a $250,000 property bond posted by his parents, Foster said. Welden had been in jail since his arrest May 15 on charges of violating the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act and product tampering.

Prosecutors say Welden tricked his pregnant girlfriend, Remee Jo Lee, into taking an abortion pill called Cytotec, telling her it was an antibiotic. He is accused of getting the drug by forging the signature of his father, an obstetrician-gynecologist, on a prescription. Lee later lost the baby.

Welden originally faced life in prison if convicted, but his defense team has since introduced expert testimony that the Cytotec could not have caused the baby's death. Prosecutors may now consider pursuing the lesser charge of attempted murder charge.

Welden's trial is tentatively set for some time in October, Foster said.

msalinero@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-8303

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