Multiple clients of a laser hair removal practitioner, who’s been charged with sexual assault and voyeurism, claim he effectively blindfolded them during appointments so they couldn’t tell whether he was taking photos of them.
Ali Aghasardar of Dermabella Clinic allegedly took photos of at least one client while they were naked during an appointment, and allegedly sexually assaulted another, Vancouver police said in a news release Friday.
One woman, whose identity Daily Hive agreed to keep anonymous, said she had a similar experience when she began getting laser hair removal at the clinic in April 2019.
She alleged Aghasardar covered her eyes with tissue and put protective goggles on top, so she couldn’t see anything. He allegedly confirmed her vision was blocked before starting the machine.
At the start of each appointment, the woman claims there was about a two minute period when the machine was turned on but the technician wasn’t doing anything. At the time she wondered what he was doing, and if he was taking photos, but convinced herself it was nothing.
When she saw the news from VPD more than two years later, she knew her instincts were right.
“I felt super violated, to be honest,” she said. “We go there to look good and look pretty … We put ourselves out there thinking they’re going to be professional. And then to find out he was doing the complete opposite and taking advantage of the situation, it’s just so wrong.”
At the time, she didn’t want to remove the goggles and tissue because she didn’t know how Aghasardar would react — especially since the two of them were alone in the small clinic.
- You might also like:
- Vancouver patients allegedly sexually assaulted, photographed during laser hair removal
The woman also said he seemed professional and polite, and she’d bought the laser package on Groupon — prepaying for the service.
She got her underarms and bikini done, and when she asked if she could keep her underwear on (since she wasn’t doing Brazilian) Aghasardar allegedly said no — saying that the laser would burn her if it touched the fabric.
“It was my first time and I felt kind of awkward,” she said, so she went with what the technician said.
The woman used her handful of sessions and didn’t got back to the clinic. But when she told a male friend who had also bought a laser hair removal package from Dermabella, she was surprised to learn that he wasn’t given paper for underneath his goggles.
“I didn’t want to look like an idiot taking off the goggles and asking [Aghasardar] what he’s doing if he wasn’t doing anything. Especially after seeing how professional he was in front of me and with his highly rated reviews,” she said.
Once news of the charges against Aghasardar broke, the woman Daily Hive spoke with contacted the Vancouver Police Department to report what happened. She has not yet heard back from an officer.
Daily Hive has heard from two other women who alleged Aghasardar covered their eyes in a similar way during their appointments.
The criminal investigation began in 2019 when one person came forward to police, saying they were sexually assaulted. During the course of the investigation, police identified a second victim who said they were allegedly photographed while receiving treatment at the clinic.
Aghasardar has not been convicted of a crime, but the court has prohibited him from being alone with any patient or client without another adult present during any treatment.
The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC also suspended the registration of a man by the same name in October 2020. In a statement, the college said it received a complaint from a female patient alleging professional misconduct and heard from police that a criminal investigation was underway.
“As the nature of the alleged conduct raises significant public safety concerns, the Inquiry Committee considered extraordinary action pending the outcome of the investigation to protect the public,” the college said.
Daily Hive reached out to Dermabella for comment, but has not yet heard back. The clinic offers several services including laser hair removal, acupuncture, facials, microneedling, and threadlifting. It has 4.9 out of 5 stars on Google Reviews.
Vancouver police say the incidents they know of took place between January and October of 2019. But they ask anyone else who believes they may have been a victim to contact their Sex Crime Unit at 604-717-0601.