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Fake Cosmetic Surgeon Killed Woman with Illegal Butt Implants, NYPD Says

By Allegra Hobbs | September 29, 2017 11:48am | Updated on October 1, 2017 7:43pm
 Latesha Bynum, 31, died July 27 after receiving butt injections from a phony doctor in Gramercy.
Latesha Bynum, 31, died July 27 after receiving butt injections from a phony doctor in Gramercy.
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Latesha Bynum/Facebook

GRAMERCY — A woman police say caused the death of another woman with an illegal butt injection procedure at an unlicensed practice has been arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Allison Spence, 44, of Queens, was arrested Thursday and charged with manslaughter and unauthorized practice of a profession in the July death of Latesha Bynum, 31.

On July 15, Bynum met with Spence at an unlicensed facility at 319 E. 21st St. to receive silicone butt implants after setting up the appointment with Spence via text message, according to a criminal complaint.

Hours after the procedure, when she had returned to her Harlem home, Bynum called 911 stating she was experiencing chest pain and trouble breathing, according to the complaint. 

She was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital in Harlem, where she was pronounced brain dead roughly two weeks later before being taken off life support two days after that, according to the complaint.

The Office of the Medical Examiner this month ruled the death a homicide, and determined the cause to be complications from silicone butt injections. 

Spence was arraigned Friday afternoon on charges of manslaughter in the second degree and unauthorized practice of a profession, court records show. Her bail was set at $1 million cash or bond, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office. She is due back in court Oct. 4.

Spence's attorney did not immediately return a request for comment.

An attorney representing the Bynum family said Spence's arrest marked only a sliver of the justice the family was hoping to see, as the "fake doctor" in charge of the illicit practice had not yet been arrested.

"My understanding is [Spence] was injecting unsuspecting victims also, together with this fake doctor — there were several people involved in this black market underground death mill," said attorney Jack Yankowitz. "This was all greed, this type of butchering of unsuspecting victims."

The NYPD did not immediately respond to an inquiry on whether additional suspects were being sought.

Yankowitz said the Bynum family may file a lawsuit against the practitioners, but will first wait until all arrests have been made and see how the case shakes out.

"We have to let the district attorney do their job," he said. "They have evidence no one is privy to until the indictments are done, arraignments are done and criminal complaints are disclosed."

It's not the first time phony practitioners have been hit with criminal charges for the illegal procedure. A New Jersey woman in 2014 was charged with manslaughter and assault for causing the death of a 22-year-old mother with silicone butt injections.

That same year, a Queens woman was sentenced to up to three years in prison for giving the injections to two women and landing one in the hospital.

In 2015, the procedure caused the death of a 34-year-old Maryland woman who traveled to Rockaway for implants.