Penn Yan midwife pleads not guilty to 90+ felony charges, dozens of supporters show up to court

Each time Elizabeth Catlin, 54, of Penn Yan has entered a Yates County Courtroom, she has been accompanied by dozens of supporters.

Letters to the editor have been written on her behalf in local newspapers, and coverage of the 90+ count indictment that landed her in court – has gotten regional attention.

A crowd of approximately 100, including an apparent documentary film crew, were in court with Catlin, as she plead not guilty to a 95 felony count indictment.



Before she did that though, the crowd led a verse of ‘Amazing Grace’.

In December, Catlin was charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide; one count of unauthorized practice of a profession; 31 counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument; 31 counts of second-degree identity theft; and 31 counts of first-degree falsifying business records.

All of the charges against Catlin are a combination of Class D and Class E felonies.

No trial date was set this week, but the case will return for argument of motions on April 14th.

Yates County District Attorney Todd CAsella said the indictment stemmed from a coordinated investigation between State Police, the New York Education Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.



Catlin is accused of practicing midwifery illegally, without the proper documentation.

There’s a shortage of professionals in this field, and even fewer available in the Yates County area. That’s where there is a high-density of Mennonite families, who prefer home birth – to other options.


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