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Trial Set Next Week For Iowa City Landlord Accused Of Peeping On Tenants
By Erin Jordan, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An Iowa City landlord accused of spying on his tenants will stand trial next week, barring a last-minute plea deal.
Elwyn G. Miller, 64, faces 11 charges of invasion of privacy involving nudity based on allegations he spied on tenants through peepholes he installed in their apartments. The trial is scheduled to start Tuesday in Johnson County District Court and is expected to last three to four days.
Serious misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,500 fine.
Miller was arrested in November after a woman told police she caught him watching her shower, according to criminal complaints. Upon further investigation, police accused Miller of spying on tenants between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, 2012, in at least one of his apartment buildings -- 639 Lucas St.
A lawsuit filed in March on behalf of Ruth LaPointe, who lived at 639 Lucas St., Apt. 4, as well as Jordan Horton and Elijah McNeish, who lived at 1024 E. Burlington St., says the students suffered severe emotional distress as well as "psychological trauma, inability to sleep at night, paranoia, mistrust of men, medical bills, moving expenses and other out-of-pocket expenses."
Another lawsuit was filed May 23 by Jane Doe, who claims she caught Miller on Oct. 31 peeping through a hole he had previously installed in the ceiling of her shower in her apartment at 639 S. Lucas St., the suit states. The unnamed woman called the police that day, leading to Miller's arrest on invasion of privacy charges.
Criminal convictions require proof beyond a reasonable doubt, while civil cases have a lower standard of preponderance of the evidence.