Dr. Kermit Gosnell's fate has been sealed. That said, the time has come for those who worked at his infamous clinic to face sentencing. Among those individuals is the abortion doctor's wife, Pearl. On Wednesday, the 52-year-old mother of two of Gosnell's six children was given between seven and 23 months in prison.
In Dec. 2011, Pearl pleaded guilty to taking part in illegal late-term abortions and to racketeering and conspiracy at the Women's Medical Society, Gosnell's now-shuttered clinic. But while she and others quickly admitted their crimes, Gosnell wasn't so willing.
Throughout his own legal battle, the abortion doctor maintained his innocence. In the end, though, the jury found Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for terminating babies' lives after birth, involuntary manslaughter and of a plethora of lesser charges.
Yesterday, Pearl said that her husband's refusal to apologize to his victims meant that he was taking the "cowardly" path, Philly.com reports.
"I am the wife of Kermit Gosnell. I am not happy about that now and I haven't been for a long time," she said during Wednesday's hearing.
She also told the judge that she assumed Gosnell was performing permissible procedures.
"I'm sorry for my part in this horror," she added. "My husband is in jail forever, which is where he should be."
DelawareOnline.com has more about yesterday's proceedings, which seemed to paint two divergent pictures of Pearl. While her family argued that she is kind and caring, the prosecution noted that she benefited financially from Gosnell's crimes and that she should pay the price for her participation:
Several people, including Pearl Gosnell’s two children and an adopted daughter, spoke on her behalf and talked of her kindness. Her 15-year-old daughter told the judge she already had lost her father to prison. “Don’t take my mother, too,” she pleaded.
Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore, however, said she did not know the “kind” Pearl Gosnell who was described on Wednesday.
Pearl Gosnell was not so kind in tape-recorded prison conversations, said Pescatore, noting how she had participated in an illegal late-term abortion – in the 31st week of pregnancy, prohibited by Pennsylvania law – on a 14-year-old girl in 2007 that might have left the teenager unable to have children.
In the end, it seems a middle ground was struck, with Pearl landing in prison for a relatively short time -- especially considering the gravity of the crimes.
Pearl Gosnell, the wife of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, accompanied by a family friend, left, and her attorney Michael Medway, walk from the center for criminal justice, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in Philadelphia. Pearl Gosnell has been sentenced to seven to 23 months in prison for racketeering and performing an illegal abortion. Credit: AP
Her attorney, Michael Medway, maintained that the abortion doctor's decision to go to trial was not well-thought out and that it put his family at a disadvantage. Previously, Gosnell was offered another plea deal that would have protected the family home, shielded his wife from prison and spared his family the embarrassment and pain of living through a highly-publicized trial.
"You can tell from the arrogance that he 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," Medway said in an interview with The Associated Press. "Her name is still Gosnell, unfortunately. I guess it’s like being Mrs. Frankenstein."
Pearl Gosnell, the wife of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, walks from the center for criminal justice, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, in Philadelphia. Pearl Gosnell has been sentenced to seven to 23 months in prison for racketeering and performing an illegal abortion. Credit: AP
Considering the time she has already served, Pearl could be released in five months, but she will also need to serve two years of probation. She previously, according to DelawareOnline.com, served about 2 and 1/2 months in prison, however the majority of Pearl's time over the past two years was spent in home confinement.
Her husband, on he other hand, will serve life without parole -- an agreement he struck to avoid the death penalty, which was previously on the table.
Another clinic worker, Adrienne Moton, 36, was set free on Wednesday, with Court of Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner giving her time served, as she has already spent 28 months behind bars. Moton admitted to racketeering, conspiracy and third-degree murder; she testified against Gosnell during the trial.
Two additional clinic workers will be sentenced on June 24.