Jonathan Imler of Williamsburg, Pennsylvania was charged Tuesday with attempting to kill the unborn child of a 17-year-old girl by helping two teenage boys put an abortion-inducing cow hormone into her drink.
State police arrested Imler, 46, for attempted criminal homicide and aggravated assault of an unborn child, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, theft by unlawful taking, and corruption of minors.
Police say the girl’s 16-year-old boyfriend, who fathered the child, another 17-year-old boy, and Imler stole a bottle of ProstaMate, a chemical farmers use to bring cows into heat or abort a calf, after meeting to discuss giving the drug to the girl to kill her unborn child.
The 17-year-old, who told police he "heard the drug may cause her to have a miscarriage and could have killed [her]," put "a drop" of the hormone into the girl’s Gatorade in March 2008.
The warning label on ProstaMate indicates that the substance is ”readily absorbed through the skin and can cause abortion and/or bronchospasms” and warns that women of child-bearing age, asthmatics and people with respiratory problems should exercise extreme caution when handling the product.
A report in the Altoona Mirror said the girl was alerted to the drink’s contents later in the day and was rushed to the hospital where doctors confirmed the substance could have aborted the baby but judged the hormone would not hurt the girl because of the small amount she had ingested.
The Altoona Mirror reported that the child, born late last year, was unharmed in the incident.
The charges against Imler were brought under the Pennsylvania Crimes Against Unborn Child Act, a 1998 law that allows an unborn child to be considered the second victim of an attack, and the US Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA), that declares that all children "in utero" are considered a second-and distinct-victim of violence in the case of assault on the mother.
Police also filed juvenile charges against the two teenage boys. Their cases will be heard at a later date.