Charges reinstated in Waffle House sex tape case


The Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday reinstated criminal charges against the former housekeeper of Waffle House Chairman Joe Rogers Jr. and her two Marietta attorneys for allegedly conspiring to secretly videotape Rogers engaging in sex acts.

>> Read more trending news

The high court, in a 9-0 opinion, partly overturned a Fulton County judge’s decision that dismissed all charges against former housekeeper Mye Brindle and her attorneys, David Cohen and John Butters.

“We believe this case involves constitutional privacy rights important to every citizen of this state,” Fulton District Attorney Paul Howard said. “We feel this decision provides a major victory for the privacy rights of every Georgia citizen.”

The case has resulted in protracted litigation for almost five years. And now that the criminal charges have been reinstated, it will likely result in a sensational trial.

Brindle secretly recorded the June 20, 2012, video of Rogers in compromising situations in the bedroom of his Fulton County home. She also filmed Rogers as he stood naked shaving his face in his bathroom, according to court records.

According to Rogers’ lawyers, Cohen had purchased the video camera for Brindle before she made the recordings, and investigators had warned Brindle’s attorneys that secretly videotaping Rogers would be illegal.

At the outset of the case, Brindle accused Rogers of sexual harassment. Cohen also sent Rogers a letter, advising him to end the matter with a financial settlement and warning what could happen if the sensitive information was made public. This included the potential for intrusive government investigations, criminal charges, incarceration, divorce and “the destruction of families.”

Brindle’s lawyers demanded $12 million to settle the case, an offer Rogers flatly rejected, court records show. Rogers has said he had “infrequent sexual encounters” with Brindle that were consensual. He has denied sexually harassing her.

On Thursday, the state Supreme Court upheld Fulton Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk’s decision to dismiss extortion claims against the defendants.

But the court overturned Newkirk’s decision to throw out criminal charges that allege Brindle, Cohen and Butters conspired to illegally videotape Rogers. The “plain language” of Georgia law makes it illegal to video record a person in the privacy of his or her home, out of public view and without his or her consent, Justice Harold Melton wrote for the majority.

The opinion also reinstated a single count against Brindle for allegedly conducting unlawful surveillance of Rogers.

Rogers’ lawyer, Robert Ingram, said he was pleased with the court’s decision.

“The Supreme Court has sent a very clear message to lawyers that illegal acts will not be tolerated, even if they occur in the course of representing a client,” Ingram said.

Three Supreme Court justices -- David Nahmias, Keith Blackwell and Britt Grant -- wrote separate, concurring opinions, agreeing with the ultimate result of Melton’s decision but not necessarily his reasoning.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Take to task for Feb. 19
Take to task for Feb. 19

New item-Atlanta Kathryn Voegeli says Peachtree Battle Road is a mess. “The entire road is a wreck! Workers were working on a new pipeline from Northside Parkway to Moore’s Mill Road for a very long time and now nothing. The road desperately needs to be repaved from one end to other. Some of the city’s wealthiest people live on this...
Cobb County restaurant inspection scores

Cobb County • Costa Mar Seafood & Grill, 677 Franklin Gateway, Marietta. 91/A • Family Jerk Restaurant, 803 Powder Springs St., Marietta. 85/B • Heirloom Market BBQ, 2243 Akers Mill Road, Atlanta. 90/A • Jeff’s Country Buffet, 7894 White Road, Austell. 99/A • Monterrey Mexican Restaurant, 3326 S. Cobb Drive, Smyrna. 83/B
Forsyth County restaurant inspection scores

Forsyth County • Carrabba’s Italian Grill, 420 Peachtree Parkway, Cumming. 72/C • Red Robin, 370 Peachtree Parkway, Cumming. 85/B • Rooster’s Cafe, 216 Atlanta Highway, Cumming. 93/A • Taco Mac, 2607 Peachtree Parkway, Suwanee. 91/A • Umami, 2631 Peachtree Parkway, Suwanee. 100/A
Fulton County restaurant inspection scores

Fulton County • Gu’s Dumplings, 99 Krog St., Atlanta. 99/A • Il Giallo Osteria & Bar, 5920 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. 99/A • RosaMia Ristorante, 11730 Jones Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 91/A • S & S Cafeteria, 2002 Campbellton Road, Atlanta. 83/B • Smokejack BBQ, 29 S. Main St., Alpharetta. 91/A
Gwinnett County restaurant inspection scores

Gwinnett County • Brisas de Tela, 1480 Beaver Ruin Road, Norcross. 86/B • Come Take A Bite, 6330 Lawrenceville Highway, Tucker. 96/A • Sabor Latino, 3435 Medlock Bridge Road, Norcross. 91/A • Won Won Seafood Restaurant, 1600 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 82/B • Wong Kee BBQ, 5495 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Norcross. 89/B
More Stories