Suspect accused of performing model's fatal cosmetic procedure makes first court appearance
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - New details have been released, and an amended criminal complaint filed Monday in the death of a social media model.
Christina Ashton Gourkani died in April after complications from a cosmetic procedure.
Vivian Gomez was extradited back from Florida. She's facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license.
She's accused of administering a fatal butt-enhancing injection in a Burlingame hotel room.
On Monday, Gomez made her first court appearance in the death of model and Kim Kardashian look-alike.
And while Gomez did not enter a plea, she now faces harsher penalties in a new amended complaint.
"Which alleges that great bodily injury was caused by the defendant in the unlicensed practice of medicine," says Shin Mee Chang, an assistant District Attorney in San Mateo County.
According to the complaint, Gourkani was comatose due to brain injury and suffered paralysis following what was supposed to be a silicone injection.
Prosecutors say Gomez, who came in from Florida, then got back on a plane and fled.
Her attorneys dispute this.
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"She did not willfully evade and flee law enforcement. She got on a flight back to home, where is home for her, Florida. And she was compliant and cooperated with police as soon as she got off that plane," says her attorney May Mar.
Her attorneys say Gomez has experience in cosmetics and procedures and that she is visibly upset by what's happened.
Prosecutors say there's a reason medical practice is and should be licensed.
"It is precisely this type of harm that the government is trying to regulate. And so I think the risks speak for themselves. If you are engaged in the unauthorized practice of medicine, it's this type of fatality that can result," says Chang.
Bail was increased to $200,000. A new arraignment date was set for Wednesday.