Illegal butt enhancement surgery is in the spotlight again with the case of the transgender woman accused of posing as a doctor and injecting a dangerous and toxic concoction into the buttocks of a patient.
Authorities say the victim, who was looking to get a job at a nightclub, was so desperate for a curvier figure she paid Oneal Ron Morris $700 for the injections back 2010. The victim, who is not being identified, subsequently required multiple surgeries, according to a statement from the Department of Health.
Like many of these self-appointed doctors, Morris turned an unassuming hotel room into a makeshift operating theater for her personal financial gain.
Philadelphia Police Detective Lt. John Walker, one of the officers involved in the Claudia Aderotimi case, says “it’s a lucrative business” and bogus doctors might pay $100 for a room and then book appointments with patients throughout the day.
They tend to use hotels because they are unable to perform these procedures in hospitals and for obvious reasons do not want to take clients to own their homes, Lt. John Walker says.
Interestingly, he says people like Morris, avoid seedy motels or dirt-cheap hotels because there is a lot of law enforcement activity in and around these places. “They tend to carry out these illegal procedures in middle of road hotel chains,” he says.
In the case of British student Aderotimi, who flew into Philadelphia for an illegal buttocks enhancement, she died shortly after her “industrial” silicone injection in a do-it-yourself operating room in the Hampton Inn hotel.
Getting silicon injected directly into the body is not just dangerous it is illegal. Victims also have no idea what substances are being pumped into their body. Morris used a near-lethal formula of cement, mineral oil and Super Glue.
“Unlicensed people performing these types surgeries is a recipe for disaster,” says Lt. John Walker“Hotels provide guests the opportunity for overnight stay, with the expectation of legal activity,” says Andy Ingraham, President CEO & President, of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers. “All the hotels I know in the industry would condone illegal activity, period, and that’s typical of any business.”
“Hotels are providing a service” Lt. John Walker says. “In the vast majority of cases they have no reason to suspect illegal activities.”
However, Jeffrey Reiff, a senior partner at Reiff & Bily in Pennsylvania, says whether or not a hotel is liable is a grey area. It largely depends on how much or how little staff are aware of illegal activity and if a skilled lawyer can successfully argue the case.
Reiff says if any employees at a hotel have even a “sniff of knowledge” that surgical procedures, without proper safeguards are taking place, there might be a case for liability. “If a chambermaid sees surgical instruments in a hotel room and doesn’t inform anyone then a skilled lawyer could argue that the hotel is liable,” says Reiff.
However, in a world where body image is in the forefront of the media, some women still seem willing to risk death, near-death or permanent disfigurement, to obtain the “perfect body image.”
As long as there is a market to obtain the shapely curves of the celebs like Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and singer Nicki Minaj, people will continue to play with their lives.
“Some of the underground people we’ve spoken to, especially in the transgender community, tell us people will continue to seek out these illegal operations because they can’t afford to get these procedures done legally” Lt. John Walker says. “Many of them understand the risks involved.”