An unlicensed physician who worked in the family practice at abortionist Kermit Gosnell’s West Philadelphia clinic was sentenced Monday to 6 to 23 months of house arrest by a judge who said he was mystified how “someone with your intelligence” could work for Gosnell.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart made it clear that Eileen O’Neill, 56, would have gone to prison were she not the sole caretaker for her seriously ill 82-year-old mother. “You have to serve some form of punishment, but I don’t think it has to be at the expense of your mother,” Minehart said.
In addition to house arrest, Minehart ordered O’Neill to complete 100 hours of community service in any area except medicine where she could present herself as a doctor. She will serve two years probation after completing the house arrest.
In May, a jury found her guilty of two counts of theft by deception and two counts of conspiracy involving her work at the Women’s Medical Society clinic at 3801 Lancaster Ave. O’Neill, however, shed little light on why, after graduating medical school in the 1990s and passing her medical board tests, she never got her license. Gosnell 72, was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for killing infants born alive during abortion procedures, and is serving three consecutive life sentences.
Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore described how Eileen O’Neill traveled to Louisiana to find out more on O’Neill, where the unlicensed doctor had previous troubles while working at a Baton Rouge, La. abortion clinic.
Pescatore claimed that O’Neill was “not always truthful” and cited that she was previously charged with perjury in this trial.
She went into detail on the night of Karnamaya Mongar’s death.
Mongar, a 41-year-old immigrant, went into cardiac arrest in Dr. Gosnell’s clinic and died the next morning at a nearby hospital.
Pescatore said O’Neill ran upstairs and hid rather than help, and that she ran out of the clinic during an FBI raid “because she had things to hide.”
MORE ON EILEEN O’NEILL
District Attorney’s Office – R. Seth Williams, Press release Jan 19,2011 “West Philadelphia Abortion Doctor Charged with Murder” ; list of charges
and Grand Jury Report
2000– Eileen O’Neill relinquished her Louisiana medical license in 2000 – she claimed because of “post traumatic stress syndrome” – and has not been licensed to practice medicine in any capacity since 2001
CHARGES According to the state:
Eileen O’Neill 54 year old Eileen O’Neill of Nutt Road in Phoenixville, Pa
1-Eileen O’Neill 140 Nutt Road Phoenixville, PA
• Theft by Deception (9 counts), 18 Pa.C.S. § 3922, M-l
• Conspiracy (Theft by Deception), 18 Pa.C.S. § 903, M-l
• Corrupt Organizations, Racketeering, 18 Pa.C.S. § 911(b), F-1
• Corru ptOrganization,Conspiracy,18 Pa.C.S.§911(b)(4),F-l
• Perjury, 18 Pa.C.S. §, 4902, F-3
• False Swearing, 18 Pa.C.S.§ 4903, M-2
is a medical school graduate who worked as doctor at the clinic without a license or certification.
Theft by Deception
False Swearing charges.
*Eileen O’Neill testified that she graduated in 1995 from a medical school in Texas. She described an odd course of residency in which she seemingly worked simultaneously in Texas and at a Louisiana abortion clinic and then spent a month at Gosnell’s clinic, where she said she “just stood around and did nothing pretty much.” Louisiana Board of Medicine records show that O’Neill was licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana from 1996 to 2000 (she testified, incorrectly, that she was licensed from 1995 to 1998). She testified that she worked at the Delta abortion clinic in Baton Rouge from 1998 to 2000, even though she also testified that she moved to Texas in 1998. She said that she worked at the Louisiana abortion clinic as a “side job.” During that same time period, in 1998 or 1999, she said she was licensed to practice in Texas, but obtained “special dispensation” to finish her residency at Reading Hospital in Pennsylvania. She spent one month of her residency at Gosnell’s clinic.
*O’Neill briefly held a “graduate medical training license” in Pennsylvania, but let it expire in 2001. After her residency stints, she never held a medical license in
Pennsylvania. (She asserted that she has a license application pending now.)
O’Neill relinquished her Louisiana medical license in 2000 – she claimed because of “post traumatic stress syndrome” – and has not been licensed to practice medicine in
any capacity since 2001. Despite being fully aware that she was not licensed, Gosnell hired her to work at his clinic in 2002. O’Neill testified that she met Gosnell through
Leroy Brinkley, the owner of both the Baton Rouge abortion clinic and Atlantic Women’s Services, the Delaware abortion clinic where Gosnell worked one day a week.
In her testimony, O’Neill tried to minimize her hours, her pay, and her responsibilities at Gosnell’s clinic. She said that she commuted from Phoenixville to work four hours a night (8:00 p.m. to midnight), three nights a week (Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays). She testified, under oath, that she was really a volunteer, and
that Gosnell just provided her with gas money.
A: He gave me travel money every now and then, just
whenever he had cash. He always said he never had any
Q: So how much did you make?
A: For 15 hours a week, sometimes he give me 200 every
couple of weeks and sometimes 200 a month. Sometimes
400 every two months.
Gosnell, she said, paid her in cash.
*O’Neill acknowledged that she saw patients and that they called her Dr. O’Neill. But she claimed that her responsibilities were mainly paperwork, tasks such as composing hardship letters, doing referrals, and filling out forms for disability and family medical leave. She insisted that she saw patients only when Gosnell was at the clinic, a
claim refuted by her co-workers and disproved by her own files. Steve Massof testified that every day she worked, O’Neill saw patients before Gosnell arrived for the night. And
Kareema Cross confirmed that O’Neill was regularly at the clinic before Gosnell came in. O’Neill tried to assert that she did not treat patients, based on a fiction that the
doctor was always there supervising her. But her own testimony belied this sham:
Q: What do you mean that you didn’t treat patients?
A: Well, I never decide what the treatment is. That’s up to
Q: What would you do –
A: Because I’m there with him all night. So I can talk to
him about patients.
Q: Okay. So your testimony is that he was with – that every
time you saw patients, where was he, the doctor?
A: Well, it depends, he would be in and out sometimes. I
mean the deal was, he was supposed to be seeing them with
me, but I’m sure there’s times when he didn’t. Sometimes
he just stuck his head in, you know.
Later, she qualified her claim further:
Q: … you’re saying all the services that you provided to the
patient was in the company of Dr. Gosnell.
A: No. I didn’t say that. I said I would like it to be. He was
always on the premises. Sometimes he’d just poke his head
in. Whatever he tells me to do, I would do.
Employee Eric Massof testified that O’Neill worked alone and unsupervised, that she treated patients, and that she prescribed drugs. Latosha Lewis described O’Neill as “basically the doctor that saw family practice patients.” Files found at the clinic show O’Neill signing post-procedure pelvic exams as the “clinician.” Gosnell introduced O’Neill to an evaluator from the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an association of abortion providers, as the doctor who performed the first-trimester medical abortions (performed with pills, not surgery) – and O’Neill confirmed to the NAF evaluator that she did treat these patients.
*Gosnell also introduced O’Neill to another one-time clinic worker, Randy Hutchins, as a physician. Hutchins believed O’Neill was a licensed doctor because he saw her treat patients at the clinic. Hutchins personally knew one of the patients – Della Mann, a registered nurse who had worked at the clinic years earlier (and, again, for four
days in December 2009, when the NAF evaluator was present). *Mann told the Grand Jury that she had been a “patient” of O’Neill’s for several years and a patient of Gosnell’s for over 20 years before O’Neill joined his practice. She explained that she started seeing O’Neill when she arrived for an appointment with Gosnell one night and was told by the person at the front desk that she would be seen by “Dr. O’Neill” instead. Mann testified that for approximately seven years, until 2009, she
saw “Dr. O’Neill” for “each and every one of my visits.” She said that she saw Gosnell only four or five times during that period. Mann listed a number of conditions for which
she had seen O’Neill. O’Neill had diagnosed her conditions, prescribed medication, and signed her charts. Mann could not say whose signature was on the prescriptions, but she
saw O’Neill write them. Mann never saw or talked to Gosnell about these conditions. He did not pop his head in, and he did not consult with O’Neill. As far as Mann knew, O’Neill was her doctor. And she always assumed that O’Neill was licensed. She certainly never suspected that Gosnell allowed her to be treated by a “volunteer” at his clinic. Mann told the Grand
Jurors: “If I knew that she was not licensed, I wouldn’t have let her touch me.”
Mann did eventually stop seeing O’Neill, but it was not because she was not licensed. Mann said that in 2008, she decided to stop going to Gosnell’s office because of
its reckless handling of patient files. She said that the files were left all over the place and that anyone, including other patients, could have access to them.
O’Neill was in the clinic on February 18, 2010, when law enforcement conducted the raid. She fled, however, before being interviewed – even though she had been told not