Friday, May 25, 2018 by Jayson Veley
A former Grosse Pointe Park body parts dealer was sentenced to nine years in federal prison earlier this week after it was revealed that he had been selling and renting body parts that were infected with HIV and hepatitis to unsuspecting customers at various medical and dental schools across the country, Detroit News has reported.
U.S. District Judge Paul Borman sentenced 64-year-old Arthur Rathburn after a two-day hearing, explaining to the body parts dealer that what he did was a “serious offense,” and adding: “There is a need for the sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offense.”
Judge Borman ordered a $761,000 judgement against Rathburn, according to his lawyers. The fine is apparently meant to reflect the amount of money that Rathburn made over the years from selling infected body parts.
Federal prosecutors say that Rathburn provided infected cadavers for a total of 142 training courses between the late 1990s and 2013. Rathburn would allegedly lie to his customers about the condition of the bodies, and claimed that they had been previously tested and screened for HIV and Hepatitis B and C.
Rathburn defended himself before the judge, claiming in a 50-minute statement that the body suppliers were at fault for giving him cadavers that were mistagged and didn’t explicitly indicate that they were infected. Soon after, Rathburn admitted that members of his staff carelessly sent out diseased bodies to medical and dental schools. (Related: A new investigation has confirmed that bodies donated to research don’t always reach the lab.)
Despite the excuses, however, Rathburn did take a moment to apologize to all of the families of those whose bodies were donated to his operation. “To the families that are here today, every individual I can assure was used to the best of our abilities,” Rathburn said, referring to the donated bodies as “gifts” for scientific research. He added, “I understand how some of you thought this (case) was barbaric. This was necessary.”
However, assistant U.S Attorney John Neal disagreed, calling the crime “deplorable” and “an exceptionally serious offense,” that “was an intentional and repeated offense,” as opposed to just a “one-time error.” Neal went on to state that even though scientific research is a “very necessary, very important” field, it is still lightly regulated. “One hopes that there are not many unscrupulous individuals like Arthur Rathburn operating” within the scientific community, he said. (Related: The global black market body parts trade is real as sellers offer everything from torsos and heads to organs and limbs.)
As for what federal investigators found in Rathburn’s lab, the details are quite shocking and even gruesome. Reportedly, human heads and other body parts were spread out across the room inside of Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers, as well as inside of large, 55-gallon drums. Bodies were piled up on top of each other and frozen together, and some were even missing arms and legs, according to the investigators.
“We hope this sentence brings closure to the victims of Arthur Rathburn,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider in a statement. “Rathburn’s disgraceful conduct not only put the health of innocent people at risk, he showed a complete lack of regard for the donors and their families, who are all victims.”
When you consider this story along with all of the others that have come out in recent years regarding the abortion industry and the illegal sale of baby body parts for profit, you have to question whether or not America is still the moral, godly country that it once was. There have always been sick, disturbed individuals in this country, but now it seems to be more and more of a challenge to prevent these individuals from becoming the rule rather than just the exception.