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

BREAKING: Man sought in DeKalb home invasions arrested
BREAKING: Man sought in DeKalb home invasions arrested

The man sought in connection with several home invasions in DeKalb County has been arrested, police said Sunday. Corey Griffin, 48, was located in Atlanta and taken into custody, Clarkston police Sgt. Jasond Elliott said. Griffin will be booked into the DeKalb County jail, according to Elliott. MORE: DNA helps police ID man wanted in multiple...
Memphis funeral home hit by lightning, burns down moments before service
Memphis funeral home hit by lightning, burns down moments before service

A Tennessee funeral home burst into flames after it was hit by lightning, moments before a service Saturday morning. >> Read more trending news Storms blew through Memphis on Saturday, bringing strong winds and dangerous lightning. Around 8:30 a.m., lightning hit the Forest Hill Funeral Home. Relatives and friends had gathered for the ...
Political ad by Texas war hero running for Congress goes viral
Political ad by Texas war hero running for Congress goes viral

A decorated Air Force veteran is running for Congress, and the Texas Democrat released a political video that went viral since its release Thursday, USA Today reported. >> Read more trending news  Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar, who won a Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross for bravery in Afghanistan, is running for...
Texas veteran, 79, evicted for failing to pay taxes on home
Texas veteran, 79, evicted for failing to pay taxes on home

A veteran who has lived in a Texas home for decades is homeless after he was unable to pay back taxes and the house was sold at public auction, WFAA reported. >> Read more trending news  Billie McGruder turns 80 next month. He has lived in the house his parents bought in the 1930s for decades, but he was evicted Friday, the television...
Naked man claiming he 'may be Jesus' arrested after trying to start fire 
Naked man claiming he 'may be Jesus' arrested after trying to start fire 

An Indiana man was arrested after he was found naked in the backyard of a Kentucky home after allegedly attempting to start a fire, claiming he “may be Jesus,” Kentucky New Era reported. >> Read more trending news Austin Michael Johnson, 31, was arrested June 18 by Magoffin County Sheriff’s deputies in Johnson Fork, where...
More Stories