Philadelphia abortion doctor pleads guilty to prescription drug charges

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 09, 2013 10:45 PM
Philadelphia abortion doctor pleads guilty to prescription drug charges

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of murdering three babies during late-term abortions pleaded guilty on Tuesday to selling prescription drugs out of his clinic, federal prosecutors said.

Kermit Gosnell, 72, was sentenced in May to three life terms without parole after being found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder. As part of a deal that spared him from the death penalty, Gosnell waived his right to appeal.

He was also sentenced to up to five years for the involuntary manslaughter of a patient, Karnamaya Mongar, 41, of Virginia, who died from a drug overdose after going to him for an abortion.

On Tuesday, Gosnell pleaded guilty to another series of charges, including conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, alprazolam, and codeine, and maintaining a place for the illegal distribution of those drugs. He will be sentenced on those charges in October.

Gosnell admitted to writing fraudulent prescriptions for thousands of prescription pills to individuals, in some cases without performing an exam. Customers were allowed to purchase multiple prescriptions under multiple names, according to prosecutors.

In January 2010, Gosnell wrote more than 2,300 prescriptions for controlled substances that were later filled at pharmacies, according to prosecutors.

Graphic trial testimony at Gosnell's murder trial centered on his actions at the now-closed Women's Medical Society Clinic in West Philadelphia, a clinic that served a predominantly black and low-income community. The trial cast a spotlight on the controversial practice of late-term abortions.

A clinic worker testified during the trial that Gosnell had delivered live babies during botched late-term abortions and cut their spinal cords.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham)