Gosnell’s wife gets 23 months for helping with illegal abortion

    The wife of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was sentenced Wednesday to seven to 23 months in the Philadelphia County Prison with two years of probation to follow.

    Pearl Gosnell pleaded guilty to participating in a corrupt organization as well as taking part in an abortion illegal under Pennsylvania law — performed on a fetus of 24 or more weeks.

    Dr. Kermit Gosnell was sentenced to life in prison without parole on May 14 for the murder of three babies born alive during late-term abortions and involuntary manslaughter of one woman due to prescribed drug overdose. He also faces federal narcotics charges for which he is expected to change his plea to guilty next week.

    Pearl Gosnell, who has been on house arrest, apologized for her role in the case.

    “As we all know, hindsight is 20-20 and I’m sorry for having trusted my husband,” Gosnell said.

    She said that she felt naïve for believing her husband when he said all the abortions he performed were legal.

    Prior to sentencing, the defense called on numerous witnesses to speak on Pearl Gonsell’s importance as a mother and community figure, including her 15-year-old daughter, Alexandra, an honor student at Masterman High School.

    Clinic worker who aided prosecution also sentenced

    Also sentenced Wednesday was Adrienne Moton who worked for Gosnell while she resided in his home and was the best friend of his stepdaughter. Moton, who has had two abortions herself, progressed from assisting at the clinic’s front door to tool sterilization, and eventually helped the doctor with his practice of cutting the necks of babies born during late-term abortions.

    In one instance, before she left her clinic job, she took a picture of a baby born alive, which proved instrumental during the court investigation.

    Lerner delivered a maximum sentence of 23 months, which Moton has already exceeded in serving 28 months. She will have three years of reporting probation.

    Moton’s sentencing was preceded by enthusiastic support from her attorney, Thomas McGill, and assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, who acknowledged her personal growth in prison as well as her contributions to the investigation.

    Moton spoke emotionally of believing that she was helping the women who came to Gonsell’s clinic.

    “Your honor, I’m not a monster,” Moton said. “I’m a good person.”

    Pearl Gosnell lauded for good works

    Prior to sentencing, the defense called on numerous witnesses to talk about Pearl Gonsell’s importance as a community figure and mother to 15-year-old, Alexandra, an honor student at Masterman High School.

    Presiding Judge Benjamin Lerner was sympathetic only to a point.

    “It can’t be the right lesson for our community that parents will be completely saved from the just consequences of their actions because of their children,” he said.

    “You are not in the same position as these other poor, uneducated, sometimes mentally ill women,” Lerner said, referring to the other clinic employees ready for sentencing. “You chose to be his partner. You benefited from it.”

    Pearl Gosnell served approximately two and a half months in custody earlier in the proceedings, which will be subtracted from her sentence. She will have 30 days to surrender, and will likely get parole after the minimum seven months, according to Lerner.

    Arguments for employee Lynda Williams of Delaware, who faces two counts of third-degree murder, federal narcotics charges, and other charges, also were heard Wednesday. Her sentencing was postponed to follow her federal trial.

    The sentencing date for Sherry West and Tina Baldwin, former clinic employees, was delayed until June 24. Former clinician Steven Massof’s sentencing was also postponed to July 1.

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