Individual Without Mask at Church Resolves Lawsuit Regarding 2020 Arrest, Labels Liberalism as a ‘Contemporary Cult’

Three years after their arrest for participating in maskless outdoor worship, three Idaho residents will receive a $300,000 settlement to resolve their lawsuit alleging religious discrimination. Gabriel Rench and Sean and Rachel Bohnet, members of Christ Church, were apprehended by the Moscow, Idaho police in September 2020 for violating social distancing regulations put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Although the city had designated a parking lot for church members to worship while maintaining a six-foot distance, many disregarded these markings and gathered closely without wearing masks. Court documents state that Rench and the Bohnets not only refused to adhere to physical distancing but also declined to provide identification to the officers. Consequently, Mr. Rench was arrested and booked into Latah County Jail.

However, Sheriff Richie Skiles quickly released Rench, leading the three individuals to sue the city for violating their religious rights. Although the city attempted to have the case dropped through a motion of summary judgment, a federal judge, Eastern District of California District Court Senior Judge Morrison England Jr., denied this request.

Judge England Jr. expressed the opinion that the plaintiffs should never have been arrested, prompting the matter to be set for a settlement hearing. As a result, Moscow’s liability insurance provider and Idaho Counties Risk Management Program will pay $300,000 to settle the lawsuit brought forth by the three churchgoers, as reported by KREM.

“I’m very grateful that I got a victory,” Rench told Fox host Pete Hegseth during a Monday airing of “Fox & Friends”.

“How many people nationwide didn’t get a victory?”

He declared his arrest was the result of liberalism and cancel culture during his Fox interview.

The settlement agreement will fully address all claims against Moscow, Idaho, and its employees mentioned in the case, resulting in the dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice. This resolution concludes any potential liability arising from the incident.

The arrest of the three individuals in Moscow triggered a widespread discussion across the nation regarding topics such as religious freedoms, public health, and the government’s authority to impose restrictions on personal liberties during a public health crisis.

“This settlement provides closure of a matter related to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the City’s efforts to protect the public during an exceptionally trying time,” said Moscow City Supervisor Bill Belknap.