Cosmetic Treatment Gone Terribly Wrong

Investigators call Mario Nieves Perez a fake doctor.
Fresno He's accused of injecting more than a dozen women with a painful and toxic substance that deformed their lips, foreheads, and other facial features.

Mario Nievez Perez already faces 29 criminal charges. Now he and the salon he worked at are being sued. But Perez has disappeared.

He failed to appear at his first court hearing, and a warrant is out for his arrest. Many Fresno women wished they never met a man who they say acted like a doctor.

You can't see any cosmetic problems with Sandra Gonzales until you take a close look at her forehead.

Gonzales: "It's real hard. It's real hard. It feels like there's rocks in there."

Gonzales hoped collagen injections would erase aging lines. Instead she is scared by a substance investigators call industrial strength silicon.

Gonzales: "It's made me real self conscious. I wear bangs now, because I want to hide it, because it's unsightly. I think it's unsightly."

Gonzales' story is similar to many Valley women. They met Perez at permanent beauty salon in Fresno police say he posed as a doctor from Mexico offering cutting edge products at bargain prices.

Martin: "In Tijuana he's authorized to inject Botox. As a clinician, you're allowed to do that."

Daniel Martin is Perez's defense attorney. He denied the allegations, but doesn't know where his client is located.

Dan Martin: "This is going to look a lot different, once all the information comes out. This looks like it is a very serious case, and it is. However, we only have the half story so far."

Gonzales is represented by local Attorney David Moeck who has this warning.

David Moeck: "I think this is a good example of why people that are going to have cosmetic procedures done need to be their own advocate when finding out what procedure is, what materials are going to be used."

Gonzales wished she used that advice and avoided a man who acted like a doctor.

Gonzales: "He had a black doctor's bag. He had medical tray. So it really was believable."

Permanent beauty salon did not respond to our requests for a comment. As for Gonzales she is suing partly because her insurance won't pay to treat her injury.

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