Judge rejects O’Neill man’s good Samaritan defense in immigration case

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a good Samaritan defense sought by a Nebraska man accused of a conspiracy to harbor people living in the country illegally.

The attorney for John Good, of O’Neill, says in a legal brief that his client lived out the lesson of the good Samaritan parable in his dealings with a couple who managed his restaurant in O’Neill.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that a prosecution motion says the practice of Christianity doesn’t provide a “constitutional shield to conspiring to harbor aliens.”

In ruling against Good, U.S. District Judge John Gerrard noted an appellate court decision that barred a man accused of distributing heroin from arguing that the free exercise of his religion required him to do it.

Good’s trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 16.

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