A dermatologist and a former patient agreed Thursday to a settlement of her lawsuit that alleged the doctor sexually abused her while the two were alone in his Koreatown office in 2017.
Under an agreement approved by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen I. Goorvitch, the plaintiff agreed to dismissal of her case against Dr. Hossein Babaali and for the judge to maintain jurisdiction to enforce the settlement terms — which were not divulged — and enter a judgment.
Her suit was filed in November 2017 and alleged sexual harassment, sexual battery, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The complaint sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
In his court papers, defense attorney Robert Shapiro denied any wrongdoing on Babaali’s part.
The plaintiff is described in the lawsuit as a licensed vocational nurse who also is a photographer and model. About 10 years ago, an intruder at her home raped, beat and burned her, leaving with trauma and “painful memories” that she experiences to this day, according to her court papers.
She met Babaali while she was working at Southern California Hospital in Hollywood, where he gave her his business card and invited her to make an appointment for any skin treatment she needed, the suit says.
The plaintiff had a laser scar removal treatment during her first appointment with Babaali in June 2017, followed a week or two later by a second treatment at his Koreatown office, according to the complaint.
A friend of the woman accompanied her to the second appointment and showed Babaali some of the plaintiff’s photography in magazines, prompting the doctor to become “excited” and offer her a free Genesis laser treatment, according to the lawsuit.
Babaali also went to lunch with the two women and told the plaintiff she could receive free treatments if she mentioned his services during photo shoots, the suit stated.
Babaali gave the plaintiff a free treatment in July 2017 and she made an appointment for scar removal and skin tightening on Aug. 11, 2017, at 5 p.m., just as his staff was leaving. While Babaali and the woman were alone in his office, he began “sensually massaging and rubbing” her thighs, the suit alleged.
When the plaintiff protested and questioned Babaali about his actions, he replied, “Oh, just feeling your skin, it’s so smooth,” then touched the woman’s private parts, the complaint alleged.
“Plaintiff, frozen in shock and fear and re-experiencing the trauma she went through eight years past, immediately told (Babaali) to stop,” and he responded, “No, its OK, I want to,” the suit alleged.
The plaintiff alleged that Babaali undressed and told her, “I’m going to lay next to you.” She said she got off the table, put on her pants and tried to leave, but the door was locked.
Babaali put his clothes on and opened the door, then briefly followed the woman to her car before she drove home, according to the lawsuit.
Afterward, Babaali “repeatedly called plaintiff on her cellphone, often from blocked numbers, stating he wanted to go over to plaintiff’s home,” according to the complaint, which alleges the woman refused to give Babaali her address and stopped taking calls from numbers she did not recognize.