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June 16, 2013

Woman violated privacy in Waffle House lawsuit

A Cobb County Superior Court Judge ruled Friday that a woman who secretly recorded herself engaged in a sex act with former Waffle House CEO Joe Rogers illegally violated his privacy.

A former housekeeper for Rogers accused him of forcing her to perform sex acts with him to keep her job. She has said that Rogers tried to force her to have sex with him despite her protests for nearly 10 years. She sued for sexual abuse and emotional distress. The Associated Press does not generally identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports that Rogers’ attorneys hope the judge’s recent ruling will lead to charges of sexual abuse being dismissed.

Rogers, who is married, stepped down as Waffle House CEO and still serves as chairman of the company’s board of directors. He has acknowledged having consensual sexual encounters with the woman, but has accused her of making false statements against him. Court findings showed the covertly recorded video didn’t imply that Rogers forced the woman to do anything she didn’t want to.

Superior Court Judge Robert Leonard learned that the woman’s attorneys sent her to a private investigator’s office and she was given a spy camera that was used to record Rogers in his bedroom without his consent. Court documents say the woman also made 15 audio recordings of sexual encounters and kept a towel that held Rogers’ DNA.

Rogers’ attorney, Robert Ingram, said he wants to question the woman under oath to reveal what he feels is a conspiracy between her and her attorneys. Ingram said the woman “used the advice of counsel to assist in the perpetuation of a crime.”

The attorney plans to file a motion asking for the woman’s lawyers, David Cohen and John Butters, to be disqualified from the case if they don’t step down voluntarily.

Cohen said any criminal case against him or Butters would be built on a shaky legal basis.

“We did not advise her to go film him,” Cohen said.

The woman will be asked to answer exact questions about the video during a deposition, which has not yet been scheduled.

 

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