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Las Vegas dentist accused of recording women in bathroom

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010 | 5:40 p.m.

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Dr. Mahesh Patel

A Las Vegas dentist is facing charges after allegedly setting up a video camera in his practice’s bathroom and capturing images of a female employee and another woman in various states of undress.

Dr. Mahesh Patel, 45, is charged with one count of capturing the image of the private area of another person, a gross misdemeanor. Jail records indicate he was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on Monday.

According to a Metro Police report, after a female employee at the Advanced Center for Dentistry, 770 Warm Springs Road, reported to work on Jan. 11, Patel, her employer, requested her assistance with a scheduled procedure and asked her to change into her scrubs, the woman told an investigating officer.

The woman said she went into a unisex bathroom and began to change her clothes. As she bent at the waist, she noticed an object in a tissue holder. Upon further examination, she saw the object had a switch labeled “record.” She told the officer she then realized the device was a video camera; she switched the power off, removed it from the tissue holder and kept it with her, according to the police report.

The woman then went to perform the procedure with Patel. She said she noticed that during the procedure, he was “acting funny.” After the procedure was completed, Patel confronted the woman and asked where the device was, the woman told police. The woman said she asked Patel if the device belonged to him, to which he replied affirmatively. He said the device must have fallen out of his pocket, police said.

The woman said she found the device in a tissue box and that it wasn’t on the floor. Patel then apologized and said he had hidden the device so he could spy on her, the report said. The woman refused to return the device and tried to leave the building, but Patel “blocked the doorway, and continued to beg for the device back,” the report stated.

The woman contacted her husband. She then went home, where she viewed what was on the memory card and saw images of herself undressing, according to the report. She went to a police station to report what had happened.

According to the arrest report, police obtained a search warrant and found video evidence of Patel setting up the recorder and placing it at an angle that showed the toilet area. They also obtained footage of the reporting employee and a second, unidentified woman in states of undress in the restroom.

Patel is scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday morning.

A call to his practice on Tuesday yielded a voicemail message indicating the practice was closed. State dental board records indicate Patel has been licensed since 1993.

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