PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge has sentenced a notorious Philadelphia abortionist who is already serving three consecutive life terms to an additional 30 years in prison for running an illegal pill mill.
U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe stated that the sentence was meant to deter others who might consider engaging in similar unlawful activity.
“The harm cannot be overstated,” she told convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “You made a hypocrisy of your Hippocratic Oath.”
As previously reported, Gosnell was convicted of over 200 criminal counts this past May, including three counts of first-degree murder for killing babies born alive and charges surrounding illegal late-term abortions past 24 weeks. Gosnell waived his right to an appeal to avoid the death penalty, and was sentenced to three life sentences behind bars.
Gosnell, 72, was taken into custody in 2011 following an investigation into his practice called the Women’s Medical Society. Investigators had not initially been aware that Gosnell was running a late-term abortion facility, but visited the location over suspicions about the illegal sale of controlled substances. Undercover agents found that he had been dispensing OxyContin and other painkillers to drug addicts who often resold the pills on the street.
But investigators were not prepared for what else they would find during their raid on the facility. Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who initially leveled the charges against the abortionist, described Gosnell’s operation two years ago as a “House of Horrors.”
“[Investigators] found jar after jar after jar of fetal remains and specifically severed feet in jars,” he explained in front of a panel following the compilation of the Grand Jury Report. “They found medical waste bags just strewn everywhere.”
During his seven-week trial, a number of Gosnell’s employees testified against the abortionist, outlining how they had witnessed Gosnell ending the lives of newborn babies by “snipping” their necks with scissors. He was ultimately found guilty of over 200 criminal counts, including three counts of first-degree murder.
As Gosnell also plead guilty to running an illegal pill mill in July, his sentencing was held on Monday. Gosnell spoke at the hearing, stating that he was only trying to help drug addicts in the community through his unique rehabilitation methods.
“It was almost like a concierge practice, in that I would take whatever time was necessary for an individual,” he said.
Gosnell’s attorney, Jack McMahon, also told the court that Gosnell had spent years assisting the poor and believed that there was a “higher purpose for what he was doing.”
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Natali told the court that undercover footage of one of the transactions indicated that Gosnell’s motivation was money and not rehabilitation.
“This was not a doctor treating people for pain,” said Natali. “He was filling prescriptions on demand, with zero oversight.”
Judge Rufe ultimately agreed with the government, sentencing Gosnell to an additional 30 years–to run concurrently with his three life sentences—and a fine of $50,000.
Gosnell’s employees, who have all plead guilty, will now be sentenced in the weeks ahead.