Restaurant Owners Accused of Installing Restroom Camera

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The co-owners of an Italian eatery in Sherman Oaks are being sued by two patrons who allege their images were recorded by a small video camera hidden in the women’s restroom by one of the restaurateurs, who was arrested last month.

Nadereh Adeli and Remick Shaverdi Sapien brought the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Bahram Javaherian and Abe E. Siani, as well as their eatery, Cucina Bene in the 4500 block of Sepulveda Boulevard.

The complaint filed May 30 alleges invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence and a violation of the state Civil Code. Siani and the restaurant are named only in the negligence claim, which alleges both were liable for not properly supervising Javaherian.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Neither Javaherian nor Siani could be immediately reached.

Javaherian, 65, was arrested at the eatery on May 9 on suspicion of possessing child pornography — some of the images allegedly included minors — and was released on $20,000 bond.

The plaintiffs learned through media reports that Javaherian allegedly admitted to police that he put the cameras in the bathroom seven months before his arrest, that a search of the restaurant and his home turned up videos of adults and children using the restroom and that he admitted watching the videos at his residence, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit describes Adeli and Sapien as “good friends” and states they dined at the restaurant at least four times between November and April, using the women’s restroom during each visit.

“On at least one occasion, plaintiff Nadereh Adeli, in addition to using the facilities, undressed completely to change into another outfit,” the suit states.

Both women had a legally protected privacy interest when using the restroom at the Cucina Bene, the suit says.

Los Angeles police said previously that they began investigating Javaherian, who has owned the eatery for 11 years, when a restaurant employee found a camera affixed under the sink and gave it to police.