Kansas Lawyer Jeremiah Johnson Accused Of Secretly Recording Workers' Underwear
You would think a lawyer would know it's illegal to use a cell phone camera to secretly record his female coworkers from underneath their skirts. But that's what 32-year old Jeremiah Johnson, a personal injury lawyer based out of Johnson City, Kan., stands of accused of in Johnson County District Court.
Johnson was charged with eavesdropping, a misdemeanor. He also has been sued by three female colleagues who allege Johnson hid a cell phone beneath their desks and secretly taped their legs, lower torsos and undergarments.
The women are each seeking $75,000 in damages, according to the local Fox television outlet. The women weren't named in the news reports, and they were unavailable for comment.
For his part, Johnson didn't appear in court on Thursday for his arraignment, but instead sent his own attorney who entered a not guilty plea on Johnson's behalf, according to the Kansas City Star.
Regardless, the charges represent a dramatic departure from the mission of Johnson's practice, which is available on the office's website.
"At our personal injury/wrongful death law office, our staff and lawyers strive to treat all of our clients with respect while we work diligen[t]ly to maximize the value of their claims," the website reads. It goes on: "It has been said that choosing an attorney is a bit like getting married -- you are going to be working with that person for quite some time, for better or worse.
A phone call placed by AOL Jobs to Johnson's office received no response. His counsel did not comment to local news outlets.
Local news reports didn't say how the colleagues detected the alleged cellphone footage at issue in the lawsuit, which was filed last year. The local Fox outlet did, however, report that last year Johnson responded to the suit by countersuing the workers for stealing photos off his cell phone. That suit was dismissed by the court.
If convicted, Johnson could be disbarred and spend as much as a year in jail. He was out of the office of the week.
If the charges are proven to be true, Johnson would join a growing club of workers allegedly using cameras to spy on female colleagues. As was reported by AOL Jobs in June, John Bednarik II, the director of campus involvement at DeSales University in Center Valley, Penn., was charged with invasion or privacy for chipping a hole in his office's ceiling so he could spy on a colleague while she pumped her breast for feeding.
He reportedly offered a confession to local police. He then also handed over his Sony camera.
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Dan Fastenberg has more than a decade of experience working as a journalist. Most recently he was a reporter with TIME Magazine covering politics with analyst Mark Halperin. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America. Follow Dan on Twitter. Email Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Add Dan to your Google+ circles.more...