PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Thursday, the Kermit Gosnell legal saga finally came to an end as the last two employees of his “house of horrors” abortion facility faced justice.
Former Gosnell associates Lynda Williams and Tina Baldwin became the final defendants to be sentenced in the most publicized abortion case in decades.
Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner sentenced Williams, 45, to serve five to 10 years in prison for two counts of third-degree murder. Baldwin, 48, received 30 months of probation after pleading guilty to sustaining a corrupt organization, conspiracy, and corrupting a minor.
“I only do what I’m told to do,” Williams, who only has a ninth grade education, told the court. “What I was told to do was snip their neck.”
During the procedure that Gosnell taught her to perform, she testified that the baby's arm “jumped.”
Although Williams' testimony proved pivotal in convicting Gosnell of three counts of murder, Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron asked Lerner to sentence her to 10 to 20 years in prison – a significant break from the 200 years she could have received for pleading guilty to the murder charges and counts of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to participate in a corrupt organization, and illegally administering drugs to women undergoing late-term abortions.
“She is an adult, she is a mother herself,” Cameron said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “This was a living human being in front of her, a living human being who was crying.” Prosecutors waived a mandatory life sentence as part of her plea bargain.
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Williams' attorney, Stephen Patrizio, said Kermit Gosnell was “the devil” and held his often psychologically vulnerable employees under his tight mental control.
At the sentencing, Williams told Judge Lerner that she “felt manipulated, used, and lied to by Dr. Gosnell.”
Baldwin also expressed remorse, telling the judge, “I wish I never got involved” with Gosnell's practice. “I'm sorry for the things I did.”
Her plea to corruption of a minor revolves around allowing her daughter, Ashley, to begin working at Gosnell's office when she was only 15.
The teen, who would work at the facility as much as 50 hours a week, took a picture of one of Gosnell's victims because she was stunned by the baby's size and development. She told the court that she heard a baby “screeching” in pain and that, after cutting the child's neck, Gosnell threw newborn Baby E into the trash.
Tina Baldwin begins serving 18 months in prison on July 7 on charges that she helped Gosnell operate the Women's Medical Society, located at 3801 Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia, as a “pill mill.” Prosecutors say, in addition to infanticide, Gosnell made at least $200,000 from writing as many as 2,300 illicit prescriptions a month between June 2008 and February 2010.
It was drug charges that brought police to Gosnell's facility in February 2010, where they uncovered a filthy facility with flea-ridden cats urinating in the waiting room, unsterilized instruments that transmitted STDs between patients, and the feet of Gosnell’s newborn victims. Prosecutors suggested he may have kept the feet as some form of trophy.
Last May, Gosnell was sentenced to three life sentences for the murder/infanticide of three newborns, as well as violating a host of state abortion laws, which Pennsylvania had not enforced since the inauguration of pro-abortion Republican Gov. Tom Ridge.
In December, Gosnell was sentenced to an additional 30 years for his illegal drug activities.
From his prison cell, he has expressed interest in working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or former President Bill Clinton's charitable efforts.