Abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell’s sister-in-law was sentenced in court today for her role in the House of Horrors abortion clinic that eventually resulted in Gosnell’s conviction on multiple murder counts.
The gruesomeness of what happened at the clinic was not limited to Gosnell, but extended to his staff — some of whom were family members.
Elizabeth Hampton testified that it was it was part of her cleaning duties to dispose of the large bottle on the suction machine that would fill with blood and fetal remains. She would pour the blood and baby parts into the sink and grind them up using the garbage disposal.
Hampton was intimately involved the night Gosnell killed Karnamaya Mongar in a botched abortion. But, as Philadelphia Inquirer courts reporter Joseph Slobodzian reports today, she merely received probation for perjury and was praised by the judge in the case for testifying against Gosnell himself.
Like other Gosnell staffers and family members, Hampton agreed to cooperate with prosecutors to testify against Gosnell in exchange for a significantly lighter sentence.
Sister in law of abortion doc Kermit Gosnell gets 1 yr probation for perjury. Praised by judge for testifying against Gosnell. #inq
— Joseph A. Slobodzian (@JoeSlobo) May 28, 2013
Hampton was arrested and charged with perjury for lying to the Grand Jury that later issued indictments against Gosnell and eight of his employees. She entered into a plea agreement that would have the potential to reduce her expected 15-year sentence in exchange for her cooperation and honest testimony against Gosnell.
A disagreement broke out between prosecutors and defense attorney Jack McMahon over exactly what Hampton lied about. Judge Jeffery P. Minehart dismissed the jury for the day then rebuked the attorneys for not reaching agreements about such disputes prior to coming to court.
Afterwards, McMahon got into a verbal confrontation with Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron. McMahon argued he had notes taken previously that indicated Hampton lied about only part of an incident that occurred between Hampton and one of Mongar’s daughters on the night of Mongar’s death. Cameron asked McMahon to produce the notes, which he could not. The two began shouting at each other until lead prosecutor Joanne Pescatore got physically between the two men loudly ordered them , to “Stop it!”
Hampton testified about her role at Gosnell’s clinic and about events on the night that Mongar died. Hampton is the foster sister of Gosnell’s wife, Pearl, who said she worked 12 hours a day, five days a week at the abortion clinic cleaning and answering phones where she was paid $10 an hour cash and a bonus of $20 for each second trimester abortion done during her work shift.
An emotional Hampton testified tearfully that she worked on and off for Gosnell since 1999. She said she suffered from alcohol abuse and finally was able to get clean and sober in about 2006. Weeping, Hampton told how she had quit working for Gosnell due to a dispute with him in 2006 after she saw something at the clinic she “could not go along with.” She was not allowed to describe the incident, however, she said it caused her to “fall off the wagon” and return to drinking for a time.
Hampton also testified that white women were treated differently than those she described as “Afro-Americans.” She said that Gosnell, who is black, was friendlier to white women and allowed them to wait in “Dr. Steve’s” office, referring to Steven Massof, who held himself out to be a licensed physician when he was not. She said white women were put in Massof’s office because it was a cleaner area of the clinic. Hampton said, “He [Gosnell] wasn’t mean to Afro-Americans, but they never got in that room.”
Aborted Remains Flushed Down the Garbage Disposal
Hampton also testified about her cleaning duties, which included the large bottle on the suction machine that would fill with blood and fetal remains during first trimester abortions. She testified that she would dump the blood contents of the bottle into a wash sink located between procedure rooms then turn on the garbage disposal – the same one present in the court room as evidence – and grind and flush the contents down the drain. It is illegal in Pennsylvania to dispose of bloody remains in this way.
It was above that same wash sink that Crime Scene Unit Officer Taggart testified he discovered several jars containing the severed feet of aborted babies.
On the afternoon when Mongar died, Hampton said that when she reported to work she was asked by another employee, Tina Baldwin, to administer Cytotec to Mongar so Baldwin could go home. Cytotec is a powerful uterine stimulant. Hampton said she found two pills in an unmarked envelope paper clipped to Mongar’s chart then located Mongar in the recovery room. Mongar was sitting in a recliner in a drugged stupor and was unable to take the medication herself. Hampton then placed a pill between each cheek and gum then left Mongar unattended. The dosage was twice the recommended amount.
Some time later, Hampton noticed a commotion in the clinic as two other employees made multiple calls to 911 while running though the building pulling out drawers in search of the key to the back door – the only entrance that would accommodate a gurney. Hampton then went into the procedure room and saw Gosnell standing near Mongar just looking at her. He was not attempting to provide her any medical assistance. Gosnell then asked Hampton bring the family members to him who were waiting for Mongar at the clinic.
In the meantime, paramedics and firemen arrived and eventually transported Mongar to the hospital where Mongar was pronounced dead. Hampton indicated that after the emergency responders left, Gosnell went back to work and completed several more abortions. The next day, things returned to business as usual.
Clinic Cleaning Cover-Up
Gosnell ordered that the clinic be cleaned top to bottom after Mongar’s death and had Hampton’s common-law husband, Jimmy Johnson, paint all the walls on the first floor.
Later, in February, 2010, Gosnell’s clinic was raided by the FBI and DEA, who segregated all the employees and interviewed them. Hampton admitted she had lied to the agents during her interview.
The next day, the clinic opened as usual. Several patients were at the clinic when the police came with the order for them to close.
After that, Gosnell again ordered the clinic to be cleaned and painted while he had some of the furnishings replaced.