Macomb Township man to be sentenced next month in hidden camera case

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 24, 2021

 In February 2020, an off-duty police officer discovered a hidden camera inside a tanning area at Chili Pepper’s Tanning Salon in Shelby Township. Police arrested Macomb Township resident Brian Maciborski, who had been a customer at the salon, for eavesdropping, and Maciborski recently pleaded no contest to three charges of eavesdropping in the case in Macomb County Circuit Court.

In February 2020, an off-duty police officer discovered a hidden camera inside a tanning area at Chili Pepper’s Tanning Salon in Shelby Township. Police arrested Macomb Township resident Brian Maciborski, who had been a customer at the salon, for eavesdropping, and Maciborski recently pleaded no contest to three charges of eavesdropping in the case in Macomb County Circuit Court.

File photo by Deb Jacques

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township man charged in 2020 with installing hidden video cameras and livestreaming customers inside rooms at Chili Pepper’s Tanning Salon in Shelby Township, Brian Maciborski, 40, has pleaded no contest to three charges of eavesdropping and will be sentenced on Sept. 15.

On Feb. 14, 2020, an off-duty police officer was visiting Chili Pepper’s Tanning Salon at 55172 Van Dyke Ave. when the officer found a small camera hidden in a hole in the wall of a tanning room that the officer was going to use.

Police investigated, and on Feb. 21, 2020, they arrested Maciborski in connection with three hidden cameras that were found in the tanning rooms at the business.

In July 2019, Maciborski had been a customer and allegedly installed hidden cameras in the tanning salon.

When Maciborski pleaded no contest to the three eavesdropping charges, which involve installing a device to eavesdrop and that note this is his second offense — he has a prior eavesdropping conviction in Macomb County from 2006 — the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to drop a fourth charge of drug possession. The court records note that there is a Cobbs agreement in place and that Maciborski is likely to be sentenced in the bottom third of the sentencing guidelines.

The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office could not be reached for comment. The attorney identified in court records as representing Maciborski, Stephen Rabaut, could not be reached for comment.

Charise Davis, one of the owners of Chili Pepper’s Tanning Salon in Shelby Township, said those involved with the tanning salon are sickened by the crime and are glad to hear Maciborski is taking responsibility for his actions.

“We are confident the courts will deliver the justice he deserves. We take his crime seriously and thank the prosecutor and police for their work in the community,” Davis said in an email.

Ven Johnson Law is representing more than 20 plaintiffs who are suing Maciborski and Chili Pepper’s Tanning Salon for personal injury liability — Maciborski for the eavesdropping and the tanning salon for allegedly failing to protect its customers.

“I’m hoping the judge in the criminal matter considers Mr. Maciborski’s devolution of his sexual predatory behavior, including a recent charge for exposing himself to someone at a fitness center in May 2021, the fact that he has three bond violations, and the significant number of individuals and families in Macomb County and other nearby communities that have been impacted by his depredations when deciding the sentence,” Ven Johnson Law attorney Anthony Sinishtaj said in an email. “The judge has the chance to show Michiganders that their justice system supports and values the rights of its citizens such as privacy, bodily autonomy, and freedom from sexual predation.”

Regarding the personal injury cases, Sinishtaj said that discovery is ongoing and that they are hoping to schedule the depositions of various individuals soon.

“The individuals who will be deposed include the owners of Chili Pepper’s Tanning Salon, employees who worked at the salon between 2019 and 2020, and the victims who have filed lawsuits related to these incidents. We will also be looking to schedule the deposition of Brian Maciborski, who can no longer rely upon the 5th Amendment to refuse his deposition given his recent plea of no contest. We are hopeful we can complete these depositions by the end of this year,” he said.

He explained what they are hoping to achieve with the civil cases.

“We hope to achieve justice for our clients by showing Maciborski he is responsible for his actions. We also hope to show the owners and management at Chili Pepper’s Tanning Salon that, as a for-profit business that collects revenue from customers and provides what are supposed to be private rooms for tanning, they have a duty and responsibility to protect their customers from ongoing and longstanding threats of sexual predation,” he said.

Ven Johnson Law has said that Maciborski recorded people with the hidden cameras. The tanning salon disputes that any recordings were made.

“While we are not commenting on pending litigation, we will state that we have spoken repeatedly with the assigned assistant Macomb County prosecutor responsible for charging and pursuing Maciborski. He confirmed that neither the prosecutor nor the Shelby (Township) Police Department have recovered any videos or photographs of any customer of any sort. Therefore, while we are not sure from where Mr. Johnson gets his information, it is not true according to the prosecutor, and for that additional reason, it would be impossible to comment because there is nothing ‘going on’ about which we ‘should have known,’ based directly on information provided by the Prosecutor’s Office itself,” Davis said.

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