Berks

Berks woman sentenced for leaving newborn in restroom toilet

Baby boy's survival a 'miracle,' judge says

LANCASTER, Pa. - A Berks County woman will spend at least a few more months behind bars for endangering the welfare of her newborn child by giving birth and leaving the baby in a toilet.

Emmanuella Osei was sentenced in Lancaster County court on Monday to nine to 23 months in jail plus five years' probation.

Osei, 24, of Reading, will get credit for the nearly six months she's already served since her arrest in January, but she could have faced up to 10 years in prison.

Judge Margaret Miller said such a long sentence would be "fruitless."

"But I must be mindful of the seriousness of this offense," the judge said. "Although perhaps depressed, confused and lost, she made certain decisions."

Osei gave birth to her son while on a toilet at a group home in Warwick Township, where she worked as a care assistant. First responders said they found the baby partially submerged in water and provided life-saving aid.

The judge called the child's survival a "miracle."

"But it is a miracle in which Ms. Osei took no part," she said.

Osei was aware she was pregnant when she left Ghana for Reading to live with her uncle in May 2018, officials said. She repeatedly denied the pregnancy when asked by her uncle, friends, and co-workers.

In court on Monday, First Assistant District Attorney Travis S. Anderson read aloud a letter penned by Osei's uncle.

The uncle chided his niece for her actions, but he also expressed compassion and a realization that she was naive and afraid.

"I do not believe it was her intention to hurt the baby," he wrote.

The boy has since been placed with Osei's relatives.

"The baby will be loved, cherished and cared for," the uncle wrote.


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