An employee at a skincare business in Burnaby, B.C., has been criminally charged after two women reported being sexually assaulted during treatments.
RCMP on Thursday said Farshad Khojsteh Kashani, 47, was charged with two counts of sexual assault earlier this week. Investigators said he worked at Fab Skin Care on Kingsway, just east of Metrotown.
A statement said the first alleged victim came forward to police in 2019 and said she’d been sexually assaulted during treatment.
A second woman who received treatment by the same practitioner at the clinic came forward last year.
“We are grateful to the two women who came forward to police, but our investigators haven’t ruled out that there could be other people with information who we have not yet heard from,” RCMP Cpl. Michelle Hurtubise wrote in the statement.
“We are appealing for anyone else with information to contact our investigators.”
The College of B.C. Physicians and Surgeons confirmed Thursday that Kashani has never been registered as a physician in the province.
A biography on the clinic’s deactivated website said Kashani worked as a general practitioner in Iran for more than five years, performing “various types of cosmetic and aesthetic treatments.”
It said he also worked on “luxury cruise ships all around the world … [conducting] daily cosmetic seminars for cruise passengers and administered cosmetic medical procedures.”
B.C. corporate registry records dated Feb. 17 listed Kashani as the “CEO” of Fab Skin Care.
Clients warned to get STI testing
At the same time as RCMP announced the charges Thursday, Fraser Health issued a public alert to anyone who received high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) vaginal tightening services from Fab Skin Care.
The warning said those people need to get tested for sexually transmitted infections “immediately.”
“Fraser Health Public Health was made aware that this business was not providing these services through a registered health professional and was not using appropriate infection control measures while providing these services,” the notice read.
“As a precaution, Fraser Health Public Health is advising people who received this service at Fab Skin Care to visit their family physician or primary care provider as soon as possible to be screened for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.”
The authority has also advised those people to be routinely screened for human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Those waiting for the results of their tests should take steps to avoid potentially exposing others, like using a condom during sex.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers about about HIFU vaginal tightening treatments in 2018. It said the treatments are marketed as a procedures to “treat conditions and symptoms related to menopause, urinary incontinence or sexual function,” but carry severe risk.
“The procedures use lasers and other energy-based devices to destroy or reshape vaginal tissue. These products have serious risks and don’t have adequate evidence to support their use for these purposes,” the warning read.
Under court-ordered conditions, Kashani has been banned from performing laser treatments.
“Members of the public should be aware that, under the B.C. Health Professions Act, only certain registered health professionals may perform services involving intravaginal devices or intravaginal examinations,” Fraser Health said in its notice Thursday.
“If a personal service establishment is using intravaginal devices, ask if their services are performed by a registered health professional.”
RCMP said anyone with additional information around the criminal case should contact investigators.