2 Sentenced to Time Served for Deadly Buttocks Enhancement Procedure

2 Sentenced to Time Served for Deadly Buttocks Enhancement Procedure

A file photograph of a judge's gavel. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

4/20/2024

Updated: 4/20/2024

LOS ANGELES—A Riverside woman and her daughter who were convicted of involuntary manslaughter for a woman’s death after a buttocks augmentation procedure at a Sherman Oaks home in 2019 were sentenced April 18 to state prison, but a judge subsequently ordered their release after determining they had already completed their sentences with credit for time they spent under electronic monitoring.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli sentenced Libby Adame, 53, to four years and four months in state prison, and her 26-year-old daughter, Alicia Galaz, to three years and eight months in state prison in connection with 26-year-old Karissa Rajpaul’s Oct. 15, 2019, death, and ordered them to be taken into custody over the objection of Ms. Galaz’s attorney, Nareg Gourjian.
Within hours of the women being handcuffed, the judge said he agreed with the defense attorney’s argument that the two were entitled to additional credit for the time they underwent electronic monitoring while out of custody following their August 2021 arrests at the Riverside home they shared.
“If you add all this up, it’s time served,” Judge Lomeli told attorneys late Thursday morning. “I’m going to order them released from this facility.”
Ms. Adame and Ms. Galaz were convicted in March of involuntary manslaughter for Ms. Rajpaul’s death, with jurors acquitting the two of the more serious charge of murder.
Ms. Adame was also convicted of three counts of practicing medicine without a certification, while her daughter was found guilty of two counts of practicing medicine without a certification.
In a statement read in court on her behalf, the victim’s mother, Eureka Bobee, wrote, “In that single act, you caused her family and friends an unimaginable loss ... as all of us still grieve so deeply every day, many years later.”
She wrote that she didn’t want her beloved daughter’s “life, legacy, and death” to be in vain, and urged the two defendants, “Please, please, please do not ever harm another soul for the rest of your days.”
Los Angeles Police Department officials said in a 2021 statement released after the case was filed that the cosmetic procedure involved injecting an uncontained liquid silicone substance directly into the buttocks to make them look bigger, noting that injecting uncontained silicone into the body can cause it to enter the bloodstream and create embolisms that can result in serious illness or death.
“The suspects fled the scene without identifying or informing the paramedics of the cosmetic procedure for proper lifesaving protocols to be initiated. As a result, the victim died in an emergency room with tending physicians unaware of the silicone injection,” police said.
“Suspect Adame and Galaz are a mother-and-daughter team that performed these inherently unsafe, FDA-unapproved, cosmetic buttocks augmentations. Neither are a licensed medical provider in California and their clients were recruited through Instagram,” police added.
At a hearing last year, Deputy District Attorney Lee Cernok argued that the two were aware that there were problems injecting silicone into the human body based on complaints they had received from other women after the procedure was done, and said that they didn’t stay to inform paramedics what substance had been injected in Ms. Rajpaul’s buttocks.
Ms. Adame’s attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, argued then that the murder count requires an “intent to kill” and said that there was “certainly no intent to kill.”
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