Bail reduced to $750,000 and house arrest for ‘Black Madam’

Bail for Padge-Victoria Windslowe, the so-called “Black Madam” arrested in Germantown and charged with injuring someone at a buttocks-enhancement “pumping party,” was reduced to $750,000 and house arrest at a Municipal Court hearing Friday morning.

Windslowe was brought to court, but did not say much, as her attorney Christopher Mannix and assistant district attorney Bridget Kirn argued over the $10 million bail set after her Feb. 29 arrest on assault and other charges.

Kirn argued that Windslowe was a threat to public health with numerous aliases — they ranged from Victoria Forrest Gordon to Genevieve D’Gordoni — and addresses including her mother’s West Philadelphia home and a rental in Narberth. She also has at least two social-security numbers, the prosecutor said in making the case that she is a flight risk.

Mannix responded that she did not flee the city “when the world descended on her” via international press coverage over the past year. 

“I am concerned about the risk to public health,” Municipal Court Judge Paula Patrick said after a 10-minute hearing, but the figure was too high.

Prosecutor’s mixed reaction

Afterward, Kirn noted that Windslowe remains a public risk because of her “cash-only … illegal, underground” business.

“We’re happy that bail remained, but hoped for higher. She is preying upon people who are vulnerable,” she said, “and perhaps not even knowing their lives are in jeopardy. She’s dangerous and difficult to find.”

Patrick ordered Windslowe confined to her mother and stepfather’s home on N. 62nd St.

Bail would be revoked if she is found in possession of any syringes or other items used for the injections for which she stands accused of performing. In the words of a District Attorney’s Office statement released shortly after the hearing, “Windslowe was also ordered to stay away from syringes, needles, crazy glue and needles.”

Six of Windslowe’s relatives attended the hearing. They included her mother, stepfather, two of her three sisters and a pair of nieces.

“She has much support from her family,” Mannix said. “She isn’t fleeing anywhere.”

The back story

Windslowe was taken into custody after police learned of a “pumping party” event on East Pastorius Street in Germantown three weeks ago. That event occurred shortly after a 23-year-old woman was hospitalized when silicone reached her lungs. Kirn noted that Windslowe had several press clippings of stories written about her when taken into custody.

Police said that occurred after Windslowe allegedly injected her in an unlicensed procedure, and Kirn noted that Windslowe’s alleged victim remains on oxygen nearly a month later.

Southwest Detectives Lt. John Walker, who attended the hearing, was disappointed with the reduction, as Windslowe is “extremely dangerous.”

An investigation into a fatal 2011 injection with which Windslowe is suspected remains “open and active,” he said. Potential charges are pending a long investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine the nature of what was allegedly injected into the women. Specifically, they are still trying to figure out whether it was medical or industrial-grade silicone, officials said.

Asked whether it is illegal for someone to inject a substance into another person consensually, Walker said it is if the person is not medically licensed.

Windslowe’s attorney speaks

After the hearing, Mannix told several reporters assembled outside the Criminal Justice Center that “we are not going to try this case in the media,” maintaining that the other side has done so.

He then said that “house arrest is reasonable” considering the nature of the charges against Windslowe, that she has multiple “stage names” because of her work as a singer and performer and that “it remains to be seen” whether she can post bail.

Mannix also noted that the fact that Windslowe is a transgender individual — born a man, Windslowe underwent a sex-change operation in 2006, he said — is “one of the reasons for sensationalism in this case. I don’t think the BBC and CNN would be covering this otherwise.”

Mannix said he expects the prosecution to present, among other witnesses, medical experts at Windslowe’s May 16 preliminary hearing.

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