A Flushing man who jumped bail and fled the country was convicted in absentia of posing as a doctor and performing plastic surgery on seven women, the Queens district attorney announced last week.
Vincente Galarza, 50, permanently scarred five people in surgeries that involved Krazy Glue, the district attorney said.
The defendant placed at risk the lives of seven women who came to him in the mistaken belief that he was a licensed physician and a qualified surgeon, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. He endangered their lives by incompetence and greed and disfigured five of the victims for life.
A jury of five men and seven women found Galarza guilty of assault, unlicensed practice of medicine, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument and criminal possession of a controlled substance, the district attorney said.
State Supreme Court Judge Richard L. Buchter is scheduled to sentence Galarza on Feb. 26.
Galarza, who lived at 153-24 58th Ave., fled the country for Ecuador in December before his trial began, authorities said. Brown said he was pursuing Galarzas extradition.
Galarza performed the operations out of the Corona business, El Centro de Estetica, at 98-17 37th Ave., the district attorney said.
In 2000 and 2001, Galarza performed medical procedures ranging from liposuction, breast implantation, rhinoplasty and tummy tucks, the district attorney said.
Galarza used non-sterile fabrics to cover patients during operations and would close incisions by using Krazy Glue, the district attorney said.
Galarzas seven patients ranged in age from 30 to 58, and Galarza put all of their lives in danger, the district attorney said.
Detectives with the 115th Precinct in Corona arrested Galarza in April 2001 in response to a victims complaint. When they arrived, they found an unconscious woman on the operating table bleeding from the head and Galarza hiding in the closet, the district attorney said.
Galarza was one of four people arrested during the raid, authorities said, and the business was immediately shut down.
One of the employees of the clinic, Claudio Marquez of Briarwood, escaped arrest in April 2001 and went on to open up Ralphs Spa on 69th Street in Woodside, authorities said. He was arrested in July and faces trial, authorities said.
Galarza was indicted in August and was released after his friends posted bail of $25,000, the district attorney said.
Galarzas attorney, Mario Malerba, could not be reached for comment.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2003 Community News Group
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