British Columbia

Proposed class action filed against worker accused of voyeurism at cosmetic clinic

A Vancouver woman is seeking to certify a class action lawsuit against a cosmetic clinic and a worker charged with voyeurism and sexual assault for allegedly filming customers during intimate laser hair removal treatments.

Ali Aghasardad was charged with voyeurism for allegedly filming women during laser hair removal

A Vancouver woman is seeking to certify a class action lawsuit against a cosmetic clinic and a worker charged with voyeurism and sexual assault for allegedly filming customers during intimate laser hair removal treatments. (David Horemans/CBC)

A Vancouver woman is seeking to certify a class action lawsuit against a cosmetic clinic and a worker charged with voyeurism and sexual assault for allegedly filming customers during intimate laser hair removal treatments.

The woman — who CBC has decided not to name — says she learned about the charges against Ali Aghasardar from social media last month when Vancouver police announced charges against the 50-year-old.

According to the B.C. Supreme Court claim, she went to Dermabella clinic between December 2020 and June 2021, where she says Aghasardar gave her Brazilian laser treatments, which involve the removal of all or almost all pubic hair.

"When I got the treatment, I was essentially blindfolded," the woman told the CBC.

"I asked him about it at the time, but I'd never had laser hair removal before. And he said that it's just extra protection for the laser for your eyes."

'Violated and vulnerable'

Police have since revealed that Aghasardar allegedly photographed one woman as she was receiving a treatment while naked. They say he also allegedly sexually assaulted another client.

The alleged offences occurred between January and October 2019.

A close-up picture of a Vancouver Police Department shoulder badge.
Vancouver police announced sexual assault and voyeurism charges against Ali Aghasardar last month. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The woman seeking to certify the class action lawsuit is seeking damages against both Dermabella and Aghasardar.

She says Vancouver police told her that without tattoos or identifiable marks, they are unable to match victims to photographic evidence, which means that she is left wondering if pictures of her are out there.

"I felt so violated and vulnerable," the woman told the CBC.

"I want the public to know that this happened, so that people don't unknowingly put themselves in the dangerous situation that I and many other people put themselves in."

'A potentially dangerous situation'

The proposed class action is the second lawsuit filed against Aghasardar and Dermabella in recent weeks.

In late January, another woman filed a notice of claim against both the clinic and Aghasardar, who she claimed had sexually assaulted her during laser hair removal treatment and scar removal in August and October 2019.

The woman claimed she was "frozen in fear and unable to speak" while Aghasardar touched her breasts and buttocks and digitally penetrated her vagina as she lay naked on a treatment bed.

The woman said she wore protective safety glasses which "acted as a blindfold."

She claimed she reported Aghasardar to the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists in September 2020.

The college suspended Aghasardar the following month, posting a notice that said he would not be allowed to perform acupuncture or traditional Chinese medicine, pending the outcome of an investigation.

But the woman who filed the class action this week claims he continued working at Dermabella and gave her and others laser removal treatment when they didn't know he had been suspended and should not have been working.

She is seeking damages for breach of contract and argues that Aghasardar and the clinic owed her a standard of care.

"They allowed people to come to him and get treated by him and put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation completely unknowingly," the woman said.

The woman says she filed the lawsuit because she wants Dermabella to face consequences for allowing Aghasardar to see clients after complaints were raised that ultimately led to the sexual assault and voyeurism charges.

None of the charges against Aghasardar have been proven in court.

Dermabella did not return a call requesting comment and neither the clinic nor Aghasardar has filed a response to the lawsuit.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Proctor

@proctor_jason

Jason Proctor is a reporter in British Columbia for CBC News and has covered the B.C. courts and the justice system extensively.

now