A Queens physician pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide moments before the jury delivered its verdict, the Queens district attorney said.
Dr. Robert Rho, 55, of Great Neck, who worked at Liberty Women’s Health of Queens, confessed to causing the death of a 30-year-old woman when he pierced her uterine wall during an abortion on July 9, 2016, Queens DA Richard Brown said. The perforation caused a disruption and transection of the uterine artery. Rho admitted that despite excessive bleeding, he did not tend to the patient in a timely manner after the abortion.
The victim had arrived for the appointment with her sister. The abortion was performed at 1 p.m. According to court testimony, Rho lacerated the victim’s cervix along with her uterine wall and artery. She then went to the recovery room and was bleeding profusely. Rho performed a second surgery, but did not realize that the patient needed emergency medical care.
She left Rho’s office and passed out while she was on the way home with her sister. She became unresponsive and fell out of her seat, and was brought to a local hospital in the Bronx. She was treated for vaginal bleeding and given six units of blood. The treatment failed and she was pronounced dead.
After the jury deliberated for two days, Rho pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, the DA said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 26, and faces up to four years in prison.
“Sadly, a 30-year-old woman lost her life as a result of the surgery,” Brown said. “The doctor has now accepted responsibility and admitted he failed to realize the damage he’d done and did not provide appropriate and timely medical care following the surgery.”