PHILADELPHIA, May 29, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The wife of late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell, Pearl Gosnell, has said her husband was “cowardly” for dragging her family through court proceedings.
She told the court she regrets having trusted him and criticized him for not taking the stand in his own defense.
“By choosing to take the cowardly course that he did, my husband has left me to make the apologies,” she said in a tearful exchange with Judge Benjamin Lerner.
Her defense attorney, Michael Medway, also criticized “the arrogance that [Gosnell] displayed, turning down the deal, as well as refusing to speak. He's left her holding the bag in terms of talking to the public and apologizing.”
Neither Pearl nor any of Gosnell's six children appeared in court at any time during Gosnell's trial, which led many to speculate of a rift within the family. Defense Attorney Jack McMahon credited their absence to Dr. Gosnell's desire to shield them from public scrutiny at the time.
Pearl will now join her husband in jail. Kermit turned down a plea bargain that would have allowed him to avoid the death penalty – and let Pearl skip prison altogether, according to local media. The deal would have allowed the family to keep their home and other property holdings. However, McMahon said after his conviction that Gosnell does not regret going to trial. He “truly believes in himself,” McMahon stated.
The couple have two children together: Barron, who is 21, and Alexandra, 15. The two youngest Gosnell children testified about her character and made statements following the sentencing supporting their mother.
Her comments came moments after Judge Benjamin Lerner sentenced her to between 7 and 23 months in prison for the role she played in the West Philadelphia “house of horrors.
She reportedly dabbed tears from her eyes in the moments leading up to her sentencing, according to J.D. Mullane, a local reporter who was on site throughout the trial. She will remain under house arrest for the next 30 days.
“You were his partner,” Lerner said, adding that Mrs. Gosnell materially benefitted from a “foul operation masquerading as a medical facility.”
The Gosnell family raked in $1.8 million a year from his ventures. The couple owned 17 properties, a motorboat, a Dodge Durango, a Ford F-150 pickup truck, and a Ford Expedition. Nevertheless, he lived in “squalor,” according to Philadelphia Police Crimes Scene Unit Detective John Taggart.
According to Taggart, Gosnell “would leave plates of food on the floor” at the home Taggart raided. “There was stuff everywhere in the bedroom. You couldn’t see the bed,” Taggart told NBC10. His cellar was flea-ridden, according to police who inspected it.
Pearl worked at the Women's Medical Society from 1982 until 1990, when she became the third Mrs. Kermit Gosnell. According to the grand jury report, she assisted her future husband with his “abortions” of the largest, latest-term babies, which he reserved for Sundays.
In December 2011, Pearl entered a guilty plea to charges of performing an abortion after 24 weeks, conspiracy, criminal conspiracy, and corrupt organization. She has remained under house arrest pending today's outcome.
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Mrs. Gosnell and employee Eileen O'Neill did not testify against the doctor, unlike many other of his former employees. O'Neill was found guilty of conspiracy, corrupt organization, and theft by deception for presenting herself as though she were a licensed medical practitioner. Her verdict came the same day as the doctor's.
After waiving his right to an appeal, Dr. Gosnell was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences in prison without the possibility of parole for three counts of first-degree murder. A jury found him guilty of murdering newborns, whom they dubbed Baby A, C, and D.
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life had named these babies Adam, Alex, and Christopher during a special memorial service earlier this month. The gesture, he stated, would emphasize the fact that they were living human beings endowed with the same rights as any other person.
Another former Gosnell employee, Adrienne Moton, became a free woman this morning after Judge Lerner sentenced her to time served. She had spent 28 months in prison for third-degree murder after confessing she had participated in several of Gosnell's murders. Her testimony — and a cell phone picture she took of Baby A — played a pivotal role in convicting Gosnell. Judge Lerner cited that cooperation in his decision to release her.
Three other Gosnell employees – Sherry West, Lynda Williams, and Tina Baldwin – will be sentenced in the coming months. West and Baldwin's hearings are scheduled for June 24. Williams is due in court on July 1.
Gosnell will himself be in court on June 6, when he is reportedly set to plead guilty to federal drug charges.