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Archive for Tuesday, October 8, 2002

Peephole trial set to go to jury

October 8, 2002

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A Douglas County jury today will hear closing arguments and begin considering damage awards, if any, for eight former tenants suing their landlord for allegedly spying on them through peepholes.

Monday the former tenants of Parkway Terrace Apartments, 2340 Murphy Drive, finished describing the harm they say they suffered as a result of finding peepholes in bedrooms and bathrooms of their apartments.

The peepholes, discovered by several tenants in 1999, allowed someone standing in maintenance hallways to see into the apartments. More than two dozen lawsuits were filed by the tenants against owners William J. Lemesany and his wife, Mary Lemesany. Some have been settled or dismissed.

In addition, William Lemesany faces 10 criminal counts of eavesdropping, and a bench trial is pending.

The final witness, Joe Brandenburger, told the seven-woman, five-man jury that the peephole discovery may have worsened a pre-existing insomnia problem.

Brandenburger said he did not seek help from psychologists or psychiatrists because of earlier experiences with them.

"I don't trust them," he said. "For me, they made things worse."

Brandenburger also said the peephole discovery did not lead him to file any health insurance claims.

Mike Riling, attorney for the Lemesanys, called one witness before resting his case. Dean Stetler, associate professor of biological sciences at Kansas University, questioned a report prepared by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in the Lemesany case.

A forensic biology expert for the KBI had conducted tests on semen samples found in the maintenance hallways by the peepholes.

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