Abortion Pill Case: Man Pleads Guilty to Tricking Pregnant Girlfriend to Take Drug
John Welden, the Tampa man who tricked his girlfriend into taking a pill that he thought would force her to have a miscarriage, has pleaded guilty to charges of tampering with a consumer product and conspiracy to commit mail fraud on Monday, according to ABC News.
Welden will be facing a potential maximum sentence of 15 years in prison with three years supervised release when he faces sentencing on Dec. 5, the Associated Press reports.
In order to get his now ex-girlfriend, Remee Jo Lee, to have a miscarriage prosecutors allege that Welden forged his father's signature on a prescription in order to obtain Cytoctec. Welden allegedly took the Cytotec, a pill used to induce labor, and placed it in a bottle marked amoxicillin and told Lee that she had an infection and needed to take the medication, according to the Associated Press.
At the time Lee was approximately eight weeks pregnant and she experienced severe cramps and pain after taking the pill. A short time later Lee would have a miscarriage, according to the Associated Press.
If it weren't for the plea deal that Welden agreed to he could have been facing mandatory life in prison. Attorney Joe Episcopo told ABC News that if the case went to trial Welden was sure to lose.
"It's risky. It doesn't have any jury appeal," Episcopo said. "The jury's not going to like the defendant. They're not going to like what happened. And he's risking life in prison if he gets convicted."
Lee spoke with ABC News in May about how hard it was for her to believe what had happened.
"I can't believe that someone did something so malicious to me, and not only to me, but to himself. That was our baby," Lee said. "This was my everything. This was the thing that I was the most excited about. Every woman dreams of becoming a mom."