Beautician awaits verdict in negligence case

| 21/05/2019

(CNS): A woman accused of injecting customers’ faces with non-medical grade silicon that caused them serious damage will have to wait another two months to learn her fate, following a trial that began last August but owing to court scheduling problems has stretched over nine months. Zunilda Anaya Baldovino, an unlicensed cosmetologist who, the court heard, was working outside of the terms of her work permit, is charged with carrying out negligent acts after she told her customers she was injecting them with vitamins, but at least two women suffered serious long-term damage.

As the case resumed, Tuesday, crown prosecutor Darlene Oko summed up the case against Baldovino, a Colombian national who has denied the charges, stating that there could be no doubt that she was not licensed or qualified to inject anything into the women’s faces, let alone silicon. She said there could be no doubt that this was not vitamins and several of the doctors who treated the victims after they had visited Boldovino concluded it must have been silicon that caused the problems.

Oko said Boldovino’s actions were inherently dangerous and she was not medically trained in such procedures. She said that Baldovino had cause a “significant medical crisis” for the women, who suffered pain, swelling, bruising, unsightly bumps and other health problems as the silicon mixed with their own tissue, including, for one of the women, a long-running serious infection.

The prosecutor accused Baldovino of being untruthful when she told police in a prepared statement after her arrest that she had not injected the women but had merely applied topical cream.

However, defence attorney Jonathon Hughes, of Samson Law Associates, questioned the crown’s case on the basis that it had not sufficiently made out the elements of the charges. He argued that the victims had both sought this type of beauty treatment elsewhere and that they had colluded in order to extort money from his client.

He said no product was ever found at his client’s house when it was searched and that there were no regulations in Cayman regarding cosmetology and beauty injections for Baldovino to have breached.

He also raised the issue of the “shoddy investigation”, which was also criticised in writing by another magistrate, who had called out the leading police officer and others for how poorly they had handled the inquiry and for conducting a “terrible investigation”.

After hearing from both the lawyers, Magistrate Philippa McFarlane, who has presided over the summary trial, adjourned the case until 12 July, when she will deliver her verdict, and bailed Baldovino.

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