After a two-week trial, and three and a half hours of deliberation by the jury, the verdict in the case of Arthur Rathburn is in: guilty.
For a refresher, Rathburn was being put on trial after a December 2013 raid on his warehouse turned up a slew of shady things. Investigators found the bodies for four unborn babies and human cadavers being improperly stored. The discoveries in his warehouse raised questions about the widely unregulated practices of body brokers in the United States.
He had been charged with 10 counts related to his business of buying and selling corpses which include allegedly knowing to have sold a cadaver infected with HIV and Hepatitis to a medical conference.
On January 22nd the jury found Rathburn guilty on seven counts of wire fraud, aiding and abetting. He faces a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. He was also found guilty on one count of illegal transportation of hazardous materials. This has a maximum penalty up to five years and a $25,000 fine.
He was found not guilty on two counts of wire fraud, aiding, and abetting. He was also found not guilty on making false statements.
This case is one of many involving a national investigation by federal authorities into the largely unregulated market for body parts in the U.S. There are more and more cases coming to light after the Center for Medical Progress videos brought to light this awful underground operation in regards to aborted fetal body parts. Most recently Reuters has published several articles in a series that has uncovered these similar practices in the body broker industry.
Though Rathburn will pay for his crimes, there was sadly no mention of the unborn babies in his trial. We don't know why the babies were not mentioned in the trail, but there was a closed hearing on the case to suppress evidence prior to the trial's start. Photos and other evidence relating to the babies could have been brought up in that hearing.
There is one last chance the babies could be brought up, and that is in the sentencing hearing.
Rathburn isn’t expected to be sentenced until May.
There may also be opportunities to dig deeper into the origin of the babies after the trial is over. Did he buy them from an abortion clinic in Michigan?