‘I loved all my patients’: Gosnell co-defendant Eileen O’Neill gets house arrest
PHILADELPHIA, July 15, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kermit Gosnell's co-defendant Eileen O'Neill, who was convicted of practicing medicine without a license, has been sentenced to house arrest and community service.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Minehart handed down a sentence of six to 23 months of house arrest in his courtroom this morning. O'Neill must also serve 100 hours of community service – but she may not choose to serve in the medical field. After the completion of these provisions, she will have to complete two years of probation.
If she had received full sentence, she could have gone to jail for between 6 and 14 months.
In May, a jury found O'Neill guilty of conspiracy, participation in a corrupt organization, and two counts of theft by deception.
Although she had graduated medical school, she never became licensed to practice medicine – but Kermit Gosnell allowed her to practice medicine freely at his West Philadelphia “house of horrors.” Patients at the Women's Medical Society at 3801 Lancaster Avenue called her “doctor,” and she billed them as though she were a physician.
O'Neill said she only did what she did because she cared so deeply for her clients. “I loved all my patients," a tearful O'Neill told Minehart.
“I just wanted to give them care,” she said. "All I wanted to do is take good care of them.”
But her care cost Karnamaya Mongar her life in 2009. The 41-year-old immigrant from the nation of Bhutan, by way of Nepal, died after receiving an overdose of Demerol at the hands of untrained staff.
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Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore said O'Neill did not lift a finger when things went wrong with Mongar. She argued O'Neill deserved the full jail time for facilitating Gosnell's criminal enterprises.
“How could you not know what was going on there?” she asked. “You'd have to be deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid!”
Judge Minehart had mercy on the 56-year-old after O'Neill's mother, Corinne White, wrote in a letter that if her daughter, who provides care for her, is taken to jail, "in two weeks I'd be dead.”
Defense attorney James Berardinelli angled for the judge's sympathy, saying, “Her mother should not be Kermit Gosnell's last victim.”
That proved pivotal for Minehart.
“You have to serve some form of punishment, but I don't think it has to be at the expense of your mother,” he said.
Minehart is the same judge who sentenced Gosnell to three consecutive life sentences for killing at least three children outside the womb. His associates said they had seen the doctor “snip” newborns “hundreds” of times.
Other associates had made an agreement with the prosecution, pleading guilty to lesser charges in exchange for their testimony against Gosnell.