Mt. Lebanon man held on murder charges in abortion clinic probe
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A sweeping investigation of a "house of horrors" Philadelphia abortion clinic included the arrest of a man in Mt. Lebanon Wednesday on murder charges.
Detectives from the Allegheny County district attorney's office arrested Steven Massof, 48, at a home on Marlin Drive West in Mt. Lebanon. For the nearly five years that Mr. Massof worked at Women's Medical Society clinic, he posed as a doctor though he did not have a medical license, according to a grand jury report.
In that time, according to the report, Mr. Massof admitted that there were about 100 instances in which he severed the spinal cords of babies who were breathing or had other signs of life.
Kermit Gosnell, the proprietor of the clinic, was charged with the deaths of one adult and seven babies in his clinic, described as a grossly unsanitary operation that doubled as a prescription drug mill.
Mr. Massof is charged with two counts of homicide and with conspiracy to commit murder for killing viable babies born alive at the clinic.
For pretending to be a doctor and illegally dispensing narcotics, Mr. Massof also is charged with racketeering, theft by deception and drug violations.
According to the grand jury report, Mr. Massof graduated in 1998 from St. George University Medical School in Grenada. While he had "taken and passed some of the tests necessary to become a doctor in the United States, he was never accepted into a residency program" and was thus unlicensed to practice medicine in Pennsylvania.
He worked at the Philadelphia clinic from July 2003 to June 2008. An online resume of Mr. Massof's posted on LinkedIn lists his most recent job as a team leader for the Dial America telemarketing company in Pittsburgh, where he had worked from April of last year until the present.
A woman who answered the phone at Dial America said that the company had no comment on Mr. Massof's status there.
According to the grand jury report, Mr. Massof was working in Pittsburgh as a bartender and a cook before starting work at the clinic.
Before graduating from medical school in Grenada, Mr. Massof worked for five years as a research supervisor in the Department of Infectious Diseases at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1986.
Mr. Massof was often the only purported doctor working in the clinic during daylight hours, from noon until Dr. Gosnell arrived at the clinic as late as 9 or 10 p.m., according to grand jury report.
The report described the Women's Medical Society as a "prescription mill" by day and an "abortion mill" by night, saying that the clinic would dispense prescriptions for Oxycontin and other controlled substances.
Mr. Massof described his duties at the clinic in his LinkedIn resume as surveillance and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and as identifying infectious diseases in children that are preventable by vaccines.
Mr. Massof was paid in cash $300 per week and an additional $30 for each second or third-trimester abortion patient, according to the grand jury report.
Last year, he was sued in civil court in Allegheny County by Arrowood Indemnity Co. for failure to repay more than $21,872 of a $65,000 loan.
A phone message left at Mr. Massof's residence in Mt. Lebanon was not returned on Wednesday.
First Published January 20, 2011 12:00 am