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NC woman charged with buttocks injections gone bad

A woman on probation for performing buttocks-enhancing injections that left three women with kidney failure in 2008 has been charged with allegedly injecting an exotic dancer's backside with a disfiguring potion, sheriff's deputies said Thursday.

Lauretta Cheek, 42, of Greensboro was arrested Wednesday and charged with one misdemeanor count of practicing medicine without a license, Guilford County Sheriff's Det. Craig Cotten said. Cheek was released on a written promise to appear in court.

She did not have a listed telephone and Cotten did not know if she had an attorney.

The victim was an exotic dancer from Charlotte who wanted to augment her assets and met Cheek in a hotel room for the injection last year, Cotten said. Cheek's price was about $500, but the unknown substance sent the victim to hospital emergency rooms twice, Cotten said.

"It appears that the substance that was injected into her basically burned its way back out," the detective said. "It's not just one big spot. Being a liquid or gel-type of material, it kind of went in different directions and obviously got infected and left pretty significant scarring."

Cotten said he has found no connection to a Florida case last month in which state health officials said several women seeking curvier bottoms were injected with a toxic concoction of cement, superglue and flat-tire sealant.

That case is one of several in the past two years in which back-room providers promised cut-rate augmentations that would cost thousands of dollars at a legal clinic.

A Yonkers, N.Y., woman was convicted last month of criminally negligent homicide after a Bronx woman died in 2009 after receiving numerous silicone injections in her buttocks and thigh. A Colombian husband and wife were sentenced to prison in October for leaving a Las Vegas woman to die after botching her buttocks enhancement procedure in a tile store back room. A London woman died in February after receiving injections to enlarge her buttocks in Philadelphia.

"From what I'm told, the folks that are in this business, the money is very good so it's hard to get away from," Cotten said.

Cheek was on probation after pleading guilty to forgery in a case involving buttocks-enhancing injections that left three women with kidney failure. The injections were later determined to most likely contain types of infertility drugs. Cheek closed the spa she owned and promised as part of a plea deal that she would not dabble in medical procedures.

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Emery Dalesio can be reached at http://twitter.com/emerydalesio

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