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Published: Friday, 2/22/2002

5 ex-tenants file lawsuits over taping by landlord

FREMONT - Five former tenants of Gibsonburg insurance agent James Rovers, accused of secretly videotaping activities in a duplex, have filed two separate lawsuits against his estate.

Mr. Rogers killed himself last month while police were searching his home for hidden video equipment.

One lawsuit was filed yesterday in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court by Chad Noftz and Elizabeth Bell against Mr. Rogers and his estate. The second lawsuit was filed by a woman identified as Ms. X, an adult child known as X-1, and a minor child described as Child X-2 against Mr. Rogers and an unknown "John Doe.''

The lawsuits claim Mr. Rogers installed hidden video and audio recording equipment in the duplex. Police said they discovered hidden cameras in the bathroom and bedrooms at Mr. Rogers' apartment complex. They also found more than 200 tapes from Mr. Rogers' home, including video recordings of his tenants. Many of the tapes were labeled, and some had dates as far back as 1996.

The lawsuits claim Mr. Rogers invaded the privacy of the plaintiffs and inflicted emotional distress. The lawsuits seek more than $25,000 in damages.

Last month, two people filed a similar lawsuit against Mr. Rogers.

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