Sunday, September 24, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Sunday, September 24, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Ohio man gets 40 months in prison for stalking, threatening TV actress Eva LaRue

The nurse's assistant sent dozens of letters threatening to rape and kill the actress and her young daughter.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — An Ohio man was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for stalking, harassing and threatening TV actress Eva LaRue and her minor daughter for more than 12 years.

James Rogers, 58, of Heath, Ohio was sentenced Thursday after he had pleaded guilty earlier this year to mailing threatening communications, threats by interstate communications and stalking, according to a statement by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.

From March 2007 until his arrest in November 2019, Rogers sent dozens of handwritten and typed letters to LaRue, who has starred in “CSI: Miami” and “All My Children,” and her daughter, who was only 5 years old when the threats against her began. Rogers repeatedly threatened to rape and kill LaRue and her daughter, signing the letters with “Freddie Krueger,” the fictional serial killer from the horror film series “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” 

In October and November 2019, Rogers repeatedly called the school that LaRue’s daughter attended, pretending to be her father and asking if she was present. He also left a voicemail message at the girl’s school in which he identified himself as Freddie Krueger and threatened to “rape her, molest her, and kill her.” The FBI arrested Rogers soon after and confirmed that the calls to the school came from his cell phone.

LaRue and her daughter moved numerous times to escape Rogers's threats, according to the prosecutors. They drove circuitous routes home, slept with weapons nearby and had discussions about how to seek help quickly if he found them and tried to harm them.

The prosecution had asked for a sentence of 57 months, scoffing in their sentencing memorandum at Rogers's purportedly mitigating claim that he has difficulty standing and is barely able to walk. Just a day before he was arrested, FBI agents observed Rogers at the retirement and assisted living facility where he worked as a nurse’s assistant and saw him "sitting and standing, walking normally, speaking professionally and coherently, and performing duties without apparent difficulty."

"The government submits that the version of defendant who lives a quiet life and cares for the elderly and infirm is nothing but a mask," the prosecutors said. "The real defendant is the one he revealed over twelve years of stalking and terrorizing a mother and child."

Rogers' attorney didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the sentence. His bid for leniency was filed under seal because it contained private medical information.

In a July request to delay the sentencing date, his attorney said Rogers was morbidly obese and provides care for his mother, who is in her eighties, making it very difficult for him to travel. His attorneys with the Federal Public Defense Office in LA therefore had to coordinate out-of-state travel to interview him and other mitigation witnesses in his area.

Follow @edpettersson
Categories / Criminal, Entertainment, Media, National

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.