A preliminary hearing for Padge-Victoria Windslowe, who was arrested on Feb. 29 at a Germantown home where a buttocks-enhancement “pumping party” was allegedly occurring, was postponed Tuesday morning.
Windslowe, aka the “Black Madam,” is now scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing, in which the case against her could be presented, on May 16.
However, a separate hearing in regards to the $10 million bail on which Windslowe is currently being held will take place Friday morning at the Criminal Justice Center.
Arguing for and against the delay
The delay resulted from a District Attorney’s Office request for a continuance.
In a letter to Municipal Court Judge Dawn A. Segal, assistant district attorney Bridget Kirn noted, “because victim/eyewitness as well as medical or scientific testimony may be necessary, the matter appears to be protracted,” or one that would tie up a courtroom despite a busy docket.
Windslowe’s attorney Christopher Mannix had argued against a delay based on confusion about what substance was involved in the injections on which the case is based, and “highly publicized and prejudicial” statements made by police to media outlets reporting on the arrest.
“Either the commonwealth does not yet have a case … or the Commonwealth does have a case,” he wrote. “Either way, there is no basis for a continuance.”
The judge ruled in the prosecution’s favor.
Seeking a bail reduction
In court on Friday, Mannix will ask a judge to lower his client’s bail (PDF).
“With a $10 million bail that is pertinently commensurate with nothing but the worldwide publicity engendered in part by the statements of the Philadelphia Police, my client sits in jail,” wrote Mannix, who alluded to scientific uncertainty in the case. “In the face of this insufficient, uncertain evidence, the Commonwealth wants my client to sit in jail for an indefinite and possibly outrageously long period.”
Windslowe – a 42-year-old musician from the 1600 block of N. 62nd St. – is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, possession of an instrument of crime, deceptive business practices and theft by deception.
Those charges stemmed from a case where a woman claimed she had received silicone injections from Windslowe at a Feb. 19 “butt party” attended by three other women.
The 23-year-old victim, who told police she paid $1,000 to attend, was taken to Lankenau Hospital where doctors found the silicone had entered her lungs.
Less than two weeks later, investigators reportedly learned that a second injection event was scheduled on the 100 block of E. Pastorius St. in Germantown, staked it out and arrested Windslowe after they observed her entering the building with a bag filled with “her tools.”
Though no charges have been filed, police also suspect Windslowe played a role in the fatal butt-enhancement procedure performed on 20-year-old British student Claudia Aderotimi at the Hampton Inn near Philadelphia International Airport in Feb. 2011. Authorities in Philadelphia and Delaware County are still working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine a cause of death.
Southwest Detectives Lt. John Walker, whose quotes are cited in Mannix’s legal filings, reiterated Wednesday that he is still seeking information from “any other person who may have had a procedure performed by [Windslowe] or other persons in the underground world.”