NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to causing a man's death with an injection of silicone he hoped would enlarge his penis, a procedure experts cautioned doesn't work.
Kasia Rivera, 35, could face up to ten years in prison if convicted of reckless manslaughter in the death of 22-year-old Justin Street.
Street, a father of two, had gone to Rivera on May 5 seeking a penile enlargement procedure, which prosecutors say Rivera advertised for in fliers posted at local businesses. Rivera, who performed the procedures in her apartment, allegedly with no medical license or training, administered a silicone shot to Street's penis, according to prosecutors.
Street died the next day. His death was ruled a homicide following an investigation and a medical examiner's determination that he died of a silicone embolism. Rivera was indicted by a grand jury last month.
Investigators believe Rivera may have conducted similar unauthorized procedures out of her East Orange apartment, but prosecutors said a search for witnesses, and a public plea for people to step forward, had not yielded any other clients to date.
Rivera, who remains free on $75,000 bail, declined to comment through her court-appointed attorney Tuesday. Both Rivera and Street were from East Orange, and the case is being heard in Superior Court in neighboring Newark.
Dr. Daniel S. Elliott, an associate professor of urology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said it was the first case he'd heard of involving a silicone injection to the penis, but he's dealt with similar cases where patients had attempted to enlarge their penises with injections of fat or other substances.
None of it works, Elliott emphasized, adding that there is no medical justification for the procedure.