In 2015, several women under the care of Alireza Sadeghi, MD, learned that he took photos and videos of their naked bodies while they were unconscious for surgery. But despite all of the evidence — and even Dr. Sadeghi's admission that he took and distributed the photos — a jury in Louisiana has found him not guilty of video voyeurism.
It was only through another criminal case — in which Sadeghi's ex-wife has alleged that he raped and illegally filmed her — that the photos even came to light. A search warrant to comb through his phone's data led to the discovery of the additional images and videos of naked patients.
In one video, the Pitbull and Chris Brown song "Fun" plays in the background while a nurse dances next to a nude woman being prepped for surgery. In another photo, a nurse puts a medical tool in her mouth and directs it in between a female patient's legs.
Several of the victims provided testimony of the resulting shock and disgust at learning their unconscious bodies were filmed for the medical staff's amusement.
"I was really angry and embarrassed and upset," one said, according to the Times-Picayune. "The idea that there is this video of my body floating around is just difficult to deal with. There's not a day I don't go into the shower and spend about 10 or 15 minutes crying."
Still, Sadeghi's defense team argued that its client's actions were not sexually motivated.
"This case is about the nurses and the doctor in the operating room acting badly, acting immaturely," said Lisa Wayne, one of the lawyers representing the doctor. "[The prosecutors] are trying to make it dirty. You're going to make him a sex offender? For this?"
Their argument was successful. After only 90 minutes of deliberation, the jury of six men and six women found Sadeghi not guilty. As a result, his name will not be added to Louisiana's sex offender registry. He still awaits trial for the second-degree rape charge related to his ex-wife.