More people suing Shelby tanning salon, customer who allegedly hid cameras

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published September 4, 2020

File photo by Deb Jacques

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After the discovery earlier this year of cameras that were livestreaming customers using tanning beds at a tanning salon in Shelby Township, there are now at least nine lawsuits filed against the customer who police believe installed the hidden cameras and against the tanning salon.

On Feb. 14, an off-duty police officer was visiting Chili Pepper’s Tanning in Shelby Township, located at 55172 Van Dyke Ave., when they 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, they arrested a 38-year-old man from Macomb Township, Brian Maciborski, in connection with three hidden cameras that were found in the tanning rooms at the business.

In July 2019, Maciborski was a customer and allegedly installed hidden cameras in the tanning salon. Salon management said they failed to detect the cameras.

Maciborski was arraigned in the 41-A District Court on three counts of eavesdropping and one count of possession of analogues. He has a previous offense of eavesdropping from 2006.

A mother and daughter, who wished to be unnamed, filed a personal injury lawsuit May 27 with Ven Johnson Law representing them against the tanning salon and Maciborski.

Since then, Ven Johnson Law has filed additional lawsuits against the salon and Maciborski. There are now more than 10 plaintiffs in the lawsuits who believe they were unknowingly on camera, including two minors. Lawyers from other firms have also filed lawsuits, bringing the total number of lawsuits to at least nine, as of last week.

Ven Johnson said that the minors who are his clients, both girls, were 15 and 17 years old at the time.

“We have sunken to an even lower level of criminal activity as we now know minors were exploited, as well as adults. Not only is this a clear invasion of our clients’ privacy, but now we know Maciborski, and potentially others, possessed explicit videos of clients under the age of 18. Maciborski is a sexual predator, and Chili Pepper’s management is negligent in failing to inspect the salon and protect its customers, at the very least,” said Johnson.

The complaints Johnson has filed against Chili Pepper’s are for negligent failure to inspect the premises for changes made to the premises, negligent failure to supervise the maintenance of the premises to ensure that its condition was safe for the public’s use, and other breaches and acts of negligence learned through the course of discovery.

Attorney Patrick C. Lannen, of Plunkett Cooney, is representing the tanning salon.

“While we are not commenting on pending litigation, you should know we spoke with the assigned assistant Macomb prosecutor responsible for charging and pursuing Maciborski. He confirmed that neither the prosecutor nor the Shelby Police Department have recovered any videos of any sort. Nor has either recovered an image of any customer. 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 no such ‘discovery’ or ‘change,’ according to the information provided by the prosecutor’s office itself,” said Lannen.

The tanning salon’s attorney declined to comment further.

Johnson was asked about there being no videos.

“We have just begun the discovery phase, having received a 550-page police report. We do know photos were found on Maciborski’s phone and have proof he was livestreaming from Chili Pepper’s tanning booths to his home,” he said.

The attorney identified in some court records as representing Maciborski, Vincenzo Manzella, could not be reached for comment. The Shelby Township Police Department also could not be reached for comment.

Maciborski is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in 41-A District Court Sept. 22.

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