Crime & Courts

Wichita man charged with calling in threats to anti-abortion group, U.S. attorney says

Ever have unwanted phone calls that just keep coming?
Ever have unwanted phone calls that just keep coming? AP

A Wichita man is facing federal charges after an anti-abortion group received threatening phone calls.

Christopher M. Thompson, 22, was indicted in federal court Wednesday on four counts of making threats to injure a person. He is accused of calling an Operation Rescue office and threatening to kill employees and rape their daughters and of saying that the devil would rape them, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release. The calls are alleged to have happened on Aug. 14.

Operation Rescue is a national anti-abortion organization headquartered in Wichita.

The caller and the receiver of the call were from Wichita, but the case is being heard in federal court because the communication was transmitted “in interstate and foreign commerce,” according to the criminal indictment.

The caller called Operation Rescue at least four times, according to the indictment. In one call, he threatened to rape a person’s daughter and said he had been following their daughters around town. In another, he again threatened to rape someone’s daughter and murder someone’s family.

In a third call, a man left a voice mail saying that “the devil was going to rape” someone, the indictment says.

The caller left a fourth voice mail that appears to be posted online.

An Aug. 16 blog post on the website includes audio from a voice mail it claims was left by the caller, who identified himself as Christopher Thompson, according to the blog post.

The blog post, which quotes Operation Rescue President Troy Newman, says the caller was upset about a 13-year-old article posted on the group’s website.

In the voice mail, the caller lists — in a sing-song voice — a litany of threats, including “the devil’s going to burn you,” “you’re going to burn in the passionate flames of hell” and a variety of other sexual and violent threats.

If convicted, Thompson faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The calls were investigated by the FBI and the Wichita Police Department.

Chance Swaim won the Betty Gage Holland Award in 2018 for distinguished service to honor and protect the integrity of public dialogue on America’s college campuses. He has been a news reporter for The Wichita Eagle since 2018. You can contact him at 316-269-6752 and