In a case that becomes stranger with each session, the preliminary hearing of accused plastic surgeon impersonator Carlos Guzmangarza continued yesterday with the testimony of a witness who claimed she was sexually assaulted while seeking treatment for stretch marks.
The 49-year-old Guzmangarza is charged with running a Mission District business called Derma Clinic, where he allegedly posed as a physician’s assistant named Carlos Guzman and performed botched cosmetic surgery while defrauding victims of thousands of dollars. He is now in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.
Presiding judge Hon. Loretta M. Giorgi assisted Monday’s questioning from Assistant District Attorney Evan Ackiron and public defender Michelle Tong, because repeated questions and the sensitive nature of the case made the witness visibly distraught.
“This is really hard,” the witness told the court through a Spanish translator.
The witness explained to the attorneys how she allegedly met Guzmangarza. They met at Cybermania, an Internet access and copy shop on 26th and Mission streets. She said that Guzmangarza allegedly showed her photos of his work, which included breast enhancements, buttock augmentation, and penis enlargement.
The witness and Guzmangarza allegedly agreed to treatment to remove stretch marks on her breasts, inner thighs and spots on her face in July 2011. She signed a contract listing the treatment and the cost of $2,500, which she allegedly paid Guzmangarza in two payments.
Ackiron asked the witness about the treatment she allegedly received and she explained that she went to his office expecting laser surgery, but did not see the machines in the office.
On her first visit Guzmangarza allegedly injected her with anesthesia in four areas, and applied cream to her breasts and inner thighs. Then he allegedly sexually assaulted her, touching her genitals.
The witness said she endured skin irritation, redness and peeling at the places Guzmangarza allegedly applied the cream.
The witness also said she had five treatment sessions during which Guzmangarza sexually assaulted her. During the first visit she allegedly told him to stop when the sexual assault occurred. But she testified that, because she had already paid him and the treatment wasn’t working, she kept seeing Guzmangarza.
When Tong, Guzmangarza’s public defender, showed the witness a picture of herself taken by police, the witness exclaimed, “This is a lack of respect!” to the court, because she was partially unclothed in the photo.
Tong also asked the witness why she did not specify that she was sexually assaulted in the witness statement she gave to police in January, or that Guzmangarza injected her four times with what he said was anesthesia.
The witness said that she didn’t explain it at the time because a police officer was there and it made her uncomfortable.
Guzmangarza is charged with 17 felonies, including practicing medicine without a license, identity theft, assault, rape, sexual penetration by an unknown object against the victim’s will and unlawful oral copulation. Nine alleged victims are currently connected with the case.
The preliminary hearing will continue at 9 a.m. Dec. 10 in Department 26 at the Hall of Justice, 850 Bryant St.