Woman in abortion case sentenced to 20 years

SOUTH BEND — Purvi Patel, 33, was sentenced today to 20 years in prison on charges of feticide and neglect of a dependent.

In July 2013, Patel’s premature fetus was found in a dumpster behind Moe’s Southwest Grill, which her family owns.

The Granger, Ind. resident was convicted by a jury in early February of ordering abortion pills online to terminate her pregnancy, giving birth to a live male and then discarding it.

Patel’s attorney, Jeffrey Lane Sanford, argued at the sentencing that there was no proof she had actually taken the drugs and or that the baby could have lived if she had taken a different action.

“The State wants to sensationalize things and emphasize that it was placed in a dumpster,” he said. “I don’t think that Ms. Patel is the monster that she has been portrayed to be."

Superior Court Judge Elizabeth C. Hurley said she took into account mitigating and aggravating factors as she decided the sentence.

“The crux of this case, in my opinion, really lies in the choices that you made after you delivered the baby,” Hurley said to Patel.

The jury concluded beyond a resonable doubt that the baby was born alive, Hurley added.

“You were in the ultimate position of trust over the youngest of victims,” she said.

Hurley sentenced Patel to 30 years for the neglect charge, with 10 years suspended, and six years for the feticide charge, which will be served concurrently.

The child neglect charge carried a maximum of 50 years in prison, and the feticide charge had a maximum of 20 years. Neither charge has a mandatory minimum sentence.

Patel has 30 days to file an appeal. 

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