LOS ANGELES – An Ohio man was sentenced today to 40 months in federal prison for his 12-year campaign of harassment – via letters and phone calls – against a television actress and her daughter in which he threatened to torture, rape and kill them.
James David Rogers, 58, of Heath, Ohio, was sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt.
Rogers pleaded guilty on April 28 to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications, and two counts of stalking.
According to court documents, from March 2007 until his arrest in November 2019, Rogers stalked, threatened, and harassed Eva LaRue, an actress whose credits include “CSI: Miami” and “All My Children,” and her daughter – who was 5 years old when the threats against her began. For example, in February 2008, he sent LaRue a letter in which he vowed, “I am going to…stalk you until the day you die.” In other letters, Rogers repeatedly threatened to rape LaRue and her daughter.
From March 2007 to June 2015, Rogers mailed approximately 37 handwritten and typed letters in which he threatened to rape, kill, and otherwise injure LaRue and her daughter. In June 2015, Rogers sent a letter to LaRue’s daughter which stated, in part, “I am the man who has been stalking for the last 7 years. Now I have my eye on you too.”
Rogers signed each letter using the name “Freddie Krueger,” the fictional serial killer from the horror film series “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”
In October and November 2019, Rogers called the school where LaRue’s daughter attended, spoke with a school employee, claimed to be her father, and asked if she was present. In November 2019, he again called the girl’s school and left a voicemail in which he identified himself as “Freddie Krueger” and threatened to “rape her, molest her, and kill her.”
“[Rogers’] threats impacted the daily lives of his victims,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “[LaRue and her daughter] moved numerous times in hopes that [Rogers] would not find them again. They drove circuitous routes home, slept with weapons nearby and had discussions about how to seek help quickly if [Rogers] found them and tried to harm them. They tried to anonymize their addresses as much as possible by avoiding receiving mail and packages at their actual address. To no avail. Each time they moved, [Rogers’] letters – and the victims’ terror – would always follow. And [Rogers] knew it.”
The FBI investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorneys Sara Vargas and Amy Pomerantz of the Violent and Organized Crime Section prosecuted this case.