Kermit Gosnell was arraigned without bail late Thursday afternoon after charged with eight counts of murder in the death of a woman from a botched abortion and seven babies purposefully born so they could be killed in infanticides shortly thereafter.
Gosnell several staffers were arrested overnight on Tuesday after a grand jury indicted them on multiple charges after officials raided his abortion business following the woman’s death and discovered a “shop of horrors” filled with bags of bodies and body parts of deceased unborn children and babies killed in infanticides.
Authorities searching the facility last year found bags and bottles holding aborted babies scattered around the building, jars containing babies’ severed feet lining a shelf, as well as filthy, unsanitary furniture and equipment.
Gosnell, who used a method of live birth abortion to birth babies and snap their spinal cords with scissors, was arraigned and held without bail and two of Gosnell’s unlicensed and untrained staff, Adrienne Moton and Lynda Williams, who allegedly assisted him in the gruesome killings at his Women’s Medical Society abortion business were also arraigned and held without bail.
The grand jury released a 261-page report which said the 69-year-old abortion practitioner and his staff killed hundreds of babies in this manner and killed at least two women and injured many more in failed abortions. Gosnell became known in Philadelphia and the Atlantic region as the guy women should go to if they wanted a late-term abortion illegal in most states.
Other members of Gosnell’s stall were given bail amounts, with Tina Baldwin on $150,000 bail, Madline Joe on $250,000 bail, Elizabeth Hampton on $250,000 bail, Eileen O’Neil on $1 million bail, his wife Pearl Gosnell on $1 million and Sherry West on $2 million. Steven Massof has not yet been arraigned, according to NBC Philadelphia.
Pearl Gosnell, Kermit’s 49-year-old wife who also has no medical license, faces charges of providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks and conspiracy, among other charges. Hampton, the abortion practitioner’s sister-in-law, is charged with hindering prosecution, perjury and obstruction of justice.
Williams, 42, routinely performed illegal operations and gave anesthesia without a license and is charged with third-degree murder in Mongar’s death as well as charges related to the infanticides. Moten, 33, faces charges in the infanticides.
Sherry West, 54, was charged with third-degree murder providing an abortion at 24 or more weeks and other charges; Eileen O’Neil, 54, was charged with theft by deception, conspiracy, perjury and false swearing and falsely posed as a doctor at the abortion center; Maddline Joe, 53, was the office manager and charged with conspiracy; Tina Baldwin, 45, was charged with racketeering, conspiracy and corruption of a minor after she allowed her 15-year-old daughter to administer anesthesia.
Steven Masoof, 48, was the lone person not arraigned and he is charged with conspiracy and other charges. He was an unlicensed medical school graduate.
“The women that were there, they were subjected to such horrific and barbaric … treatment,” Williams said Wednesday about how other patients were treated by the staff. “My grasp of the English language doesn’t really allow me to fully describe how horrific this clinic was — rotting bodies, fetal remains, the smell of urine throughout, blood-stained.”
Gosnell, who is not a board-certified obstetrician or gynecologist, will next appear in court on February 9, according to a CNN report.
CNN also reported comments from Gosnell’s attorney, William Brennan, who stressed that, while the report appears horrific, Gosnell and his staffers should be “presumed innocent.”
“No one expected these (charges),” Brennan said. “There should be no rush to judgment, no matter how salacious (they) are.”
Including the seven first-degree murder charges related to the infants’ deaths, Gosnell is charged with third-degree murder in the death of 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar. She died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the doctor, Williams said. Mongar’s family filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Gosnell’s abortion business seeking damages.
The grand jury investigation also shows state officials did nothing when reports came in about problems at Gosnell’s abortion center, which has upset incoming pro-life Governor Tom Corbett.