For Immediate Release
Chillicothe, Illinois, Man Sentenced for Setting Fire to Reproductive Health Services Facility
PEORIA, Ill. – A Chillicothe, Illinois, man, was sentenced today for the arson of the Planned Parenthood Peoria Health Center in Peoria, Illinois.
Tyler W. Massengill, 33, was sentenced to 120 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $1,450,000 in restitution by U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid. He previously pleaded guilty on February 16, 2023, to malicious use of fire and an explosive to damage, and attempt to damage, the Peoria Health Center.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Massengill maliciously set fire to the Peoria Health Center on January 15, 2023, because he believed his ex-partner had received an abortion there, and he was angry about it. Massengill believed that, if his actions caused a little delay in a person receiving services at the Peoria Health Center, his conduct may have been worth it. The fire resulted in significant damage to the Peoria Health Center.
“This defendant’s violent conduct severely damaged the Peoria Health Center and upended patients’ access to reproductive health services,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to aggressively prosecute such unlawful, destructive acts, and to protect the clinics that provide reproductive health services, as well as their patients and staff.”
“The defendant’s destructive actions in setting fire to the Peoria Health Clinic were reprehensible and limited the ability of women in our community to access important reproductive health services,” said U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois Gregory K. Harris. “We are grateful to our federal and local law enforcement partners for their excellent work on this investigation.”
“Massengill’s actions represent the very real threat posed by extremists in our communities,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “Protecting the American people from such extremists remains a top priority for the FBI and our team remains laser-focused on identifying, investigating, and disrupting individuals who cross the line from expressing protected speech to violating federal law.”
“Any violent act like this is unacceptable. Worse here, is that this defendant used violence to target health care providers and their patients,” said ATF Director Steven Dettelbach. “I want to commend the ATF investigators, the prosecutors and our partners for taking action to protect the victims of this violent and potentially lethal arson.”
“Our agents worked alongside our law enforcement partners to ensure the defendant was held accountable for this arson,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Christopher Amon of the Chicago Field Division. “I commend the coordination and commitment in both investigating and prosecuting this important case.”
“Massengill’s criminal activity was destructive in many ways – not just physically but emotionally for those that count on Planned Parenthood for their healthcare needs,” said Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria. “I am proud of the work our officers, detectives, and federal partners did to arrest the perpetrator of this horrible crime and bring justice to all those it affected.”
The FBI Springfield Field Office, Peoria Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case, with assistance from the Peoria Fire Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna for the Central District of Illinois prosecuted the case with assistance from Trial Attorney Erin Monju of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.
Anyone who has information about incidents of violence, threats and obstruction that target a patient or provider of reproductive health services, or damage and destruction of reproductive health care facilities, should report that information to the FBI at www.tips.fbi.gov. For more information about clinic violence, and the Justice Department’s related enforcement efforts, please visit www.justice.gov/crt/national-task-force-violence-against-reproductive-he....