ROSCOE VILLAGE — Former Chicago music govt Michael Johnston faces extra prices of secretly recording his staff after two extra ladies got here ahead with allegations of being unknowingly filmed in his Roscoe Village dwelling.
Johnston is the co-founder and former co-owner of the outstanding Audiotree label and co-owned Schubas Tavern and Lincoln Hall, which he bought in 2015 as a part of a partnership. But Johnston was fired in November after his former nanny accused him of setting up hidden cameras to take nude movies of her and her pal.
The two ladies sued Johnston and his spouse, Kelly Halverson, in November. Johnston was charged with making an unauthorized recording in a toilet and pleaded not responsible, based on NBC5.
Now, Johnston faces two extra felony prices of unauthorized video taping, based on the Cook County state’s lawyer’s workplace. A choose set his bail at $10,000 throughout a bond listening to Tuesday, and Johnston is due again in courtroom on the brand new prices April 4, based on a spokeperson.
In the brand new prices, Johnston is accused of illegally filming a 36-year-old lady who was employed in 2016 as a dog- and house-sitter, based on the state’s lawyer. Chicago Police discovered three movies from Nov. 28-30, 2019 that captured her within the dwelling’s grasp toilet, prosecutors mentioned.
The lady was totally nude in two of the instances she was captured on the hidden digital camera, based on the state’s lawyer’s workplace.
The second lady, a 30-year-old housekeeper who labored for Johnston from 2015-2020, was captured on the hidden digital camera on 9 events between November 2019 and January 2020, based on the state’s lawyer’s workplace. She was totally clothed and cleansing within the movies.
Johnston’s lawyer, Damon Cheronis, didn’t instantly return a request for remark.
The earlier prices stemmed from a lawsuit filed by two unnamed ladies who not too long ago graduated from DePaul University. One of the ladies was employed in December 2019 as a house supervisor, private assistant and nanny for Johnston’s two youngsters. The different lady is her pal and roommate, who additionally labored as a nanny for one in all Johnston’s shut mates.
The two ladies mentioned Johnston and Halverson arrange hidden cameras disguised as atypical family objects to spy on them and take movies whereas they had been bathing and undressed, based on the lawsuit. The lawsuit was (*2*).
The alleged inappropriate conduct started in January 2020 — about two weeks after Johnston’s nanny was employed — when Halverson requested her to prepare some bins of their bed room closet, based on the lawsuit.
One of the bins was full of intercourse toys and different sexual paraphernalia, which made the nanny really feel “extraordinarily uncomfortable, however she continued working for the Johnstons,” the lawsuit states.
That similar month, Johnston and Halverson requested the nanny to remain at their dwelling in a single day whereas they had been out of city for trip, based on the lawsuit. The couple instructed the nanny to remain in the master suite, and inspired her to ask her pal over, drink their wine and beer and use the suite’s jacuzzi bathtub, based on the swimsuit.
During the nanny’s Jan. 22-26, 2020, keep, the couple secretly filmed the 2 ladies undressing and bathing utilizing spy cameras arrange all through the master suite suite, the lawsuit alleges.
The nanny didn’t uncover the cameras till a couple of month later, when she was as soon as once more requested to house-sit in a single day and inspired to carry her pal over, based on the lawsuit.
The nanny was about to undress for a shower on Feb. 14, 2020, when she found a hidden digital camera, disguised as an image body, aimed on the bathtub, the lawsuit alleges. She then searched the house and found a number of hidden cameras — some disguised as atypical family objects.
The cameras had been motion-activated, in order that they recorded video at any time when there was exercise inside their visual view, based on the lawsuit.
On one of many days the 2 ladies had been scheduled to accommodate sit, Johnston was captured positioning the digital camera, standing within the bathtub and reviewing the digital camera stream on his cellphone to ensure the tub space can be filmed, the swimsuit alleges. Halverson then inspired the ladies to make use of this bathtub earlier than leaving city, based on the lawsuit.
The ladies assume Johnston and Halverson had been working collectively to acquire nude video footage of the 2 ladies with out their data or consent, their lawyer Gail Eisenberg mentioned. They’re looking for an injunction to forestall any footage that may nonetheless exist from being shared, Eisenberg mentioned.
“This lawsuit is a couple of recognition that these breaches of privateness can have a huge effect on an individual’s life,” Eisenberg mentioned. “You take with no consideration you could stroll down the road or be in your workplace and never be watched, however now they’re all the time pondering, ‘Am I being surveilled? Is my privateness being violated?’”
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member overlaying Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities throughout the town for Block Club Chicago.
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