Georgia v. CohenAnnotate this Case
Mye Brindle worked as a housekeeper and personal assistant to Joe Rogers, who was married. During her employment with Rogers, the two became involved sexually. In June 2012, Brindle hired attorneys David Cohen and John Butters to represent her on a potential claim of sexual harassment. Without Rogers’ knowledge or consent to be video recorded, Brindle allegedly used a “spy” camera to secretly record video of Rogers naked in his bathroom and bedroom, as well as video of a sexual encounter between Rogers and herself inside his bedroom. The video recording was delivered to attorney Cohen, and Brindle resigned from her position with Rogers. Rogers received a demand letter from attorney Cohen relating to the potential sexual harassment claim that he and Butters were prepared to file on Brindle’s behalf. After extensive civil litigation between Rogers and Brindle, Brindle and her attorneys (collectively, “defendants”) were charged in the Superior Court of Fulton County with conspiracy to commit extortion under OCGA 16-8-16 (Count 1), conspiracy to commit unlawful surveillance (Count 2), and conducting unlawful surveillance under OCGA 16-11-62 (Count 3). Brindle was also charged individually with one additional count of conducting unlawful surveillance under OCGA 16-11-62 (Count 4). The indictment was largely based on the defendants’ prior actions involving an alleged conspiracy to secretly video record and then actually record Rogers in the bathroom and bedroom of his home, and then sending Rogers the litigation demand letter. Defendants filed a general demurrer to dismiss the indictment against them and to have the statutes underlying the charged crimes declared unconstitutional. The trial court issued an order granting defendants’ general demurrer, finding the indictment failed to show that defendants committed any crimes under the relevant statutes. The trial court went on to conclude that OCGA 16-8-16 (a) (3) was unconstitutionally overbroad on its face, and further declared that OCGA sections 16- 11-62 (2) and 16-11-66 (a) were unconstitutionally vague because “persons of ordinary intelligence [could not] be expected to determine what is permitted and prohibited by these [two] statutes.” Accordingly, the trial court dismissed all counts of the indictment against all of defendants. The State appealed. The Georgia Supreme Court concluded that: (1) while the trial court properly dismissed Count 1 of the indictment, the trial court erred by reaching the constitutional issue relating to OCGA 16-8-16 (a) (3) in support of this result; and (2) the trial court erred in dismissing Counts 2, 3, and 4 of the indictment and in concluding that OCGA sections 16-11-62 (2) and 16-11-66 (a) were unconstitutionally vague.