Dr. Robert Rho, 55, of Great Neck, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide on May 4 after the jury had been deliberating for two days. He was sentenced to serve 1 1/3 to four years in prison.
According to trial testimony, the victim made an appoint at Dr. Rho’s practice, Liberty Women’s Health of Queens, for July 6, 2016. She arrived with her sister that day and the abortion was performed at 1 p.m. The practice has since shut down.
During the procedure, Dr. Rho caused a laceration to the victim’s cervix; a perforation of the uterine wall; and a disruption and transection of the uterine artery. While in the recovery room, authorities said, the victim began to bleed profusely, and Rho performed a procedure to stop the bleeding; however, he didn’t realize that she needed emergency care.
Dr. Rho, prosecutors said, failed to give the victim timely medical attention and encouraged her to leave despite her lethargic appearance and the excessive bleeding.
Prosecutors said that the victim left the facility with her sister, then — while on their way back to their Bronx home — fell off of the back seat and lost consciousness. The victim was transported to a local Bronx hospital and underwent treatment for vaginal bleeding. Despite being provided six units of blood, she ultimately died that same evening.
“This was a very sad case. A 30-year-old woman, who had recently graduated from college and had her whole life ahead of her, died as the result of this botched procedure,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “The doctor has accepted responsibility and admitted his failure to provide adequate care following surgery. The defendant has now been sentenced to prison as a result of his inaction.”