A Queens abortionist who admitted to killing a woman in a botched, late-term abortion could spend less than a year in jail.
The New York Daily News reports Robert Rho was sentenced to 16 months to four years in prison for criminally negligent homicide after he negotiated a plea deal this spring. His lawyer told the news outlet Rho actually may spend less than a year in jail.
Initially, he was facing up to 15 years in prison, if convicted.
Rho killed Jamie Lee Morales, 30, and her unborn baby in a botched late-term abortion on July 9, 2016, according to the report. She was estimated to be about 24 to 26 weeks pregnant, past the point when her unborn baby was viable outside the womb.
Here’s more from the report:
Rho ripped Morales’ cervix during the abortion, and after she started bleeding heavily, he performed a second procedure. But that didn’t fix the problem, and Rho sent Morales home with her sister, who lives in the Bronx.
During the four-week trial, prosecutors characterized Rho as greedy and arrogant, and argued that he rushed her out the door of his Flushing, Queens, clinic because he wanted to see other patients. She lost consciousness in her sister’s backseat, and died at a Bronx hospital.
Witnesses testified that state officials were already looking into the doctor before Morales’ death because they suspected he was performing improper procedures and using untrained assistants.
Rho accepted a plea deal just a few minutes before a jury said it had made a decision about the case. He previously had pleaded not guilty.
Operation Rescue, which followed the case, said the trial revealed a number of shady practices at Rho’s abortion facility, Liberty Women’s Health Care in Flushing, New York.
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Operation Rescue’s trail observer, Lauren Handy, was in court on Thursday, April 26, 2018, when a witness that testified last Monday, Dr. Arup De, an expert in anesthesiology, retook the stand for what proved to be a raucous round of cross examination by defense attorney Jeff Lichtman in a case that has been fraught with tense emotion.
During his previous testimony, Dr. De noted that it was wrong for Rho to administer anesthesia and conduct surgery at the same time. He noted that Rho was not board certified in anesthesiology, nor did he employ any staff that was qualified to administer anesthesia.
Dr. De also had told the court it was possible that Morales’ anesthesia report was forged because it did not accurately represent what an average patient’s vital signs would be. He said it was nearly impossible for anyone to have the numbers that were noted on the medical records. He further testified that, according to a video shown in court, Morales should never have been released by Rho in her obviously unresponsive condition.
Attempting to mitigate this devastating testimony that showed Rho had lied on medical records to cover up the truth about Morales’ condition, Lichtman challenged De on the need for Rho to have board certification in anesthesiology. Lichtman opined that because Rho had conducted thousands of abortions, he would have had ample experience in administering anesthesia even if he was not certified.
De stuck to his testimony that Rho was not a certified anesthesiologist and should not have been doing anesthesia and surgery simultaneously. …
Earlier testimony indicated that Rho further attempted to conceal the seriousness of Morales’ condition by “cinching” her cervix shut to make it appear that she had stopped bleeding when actually she continued to hemorrhage internally. Then, instead of calling for an ambulance, Rho released her in an unresponsive condition.
Rho aborted more than 40,000 unborn babies at his abortion business.