Landlord confesses to hidden camera, extortion

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A 66-year-old landlord is facing prison time after he confessed to setting up a hidden camera in the room of a tenant and then using the video to try to extort her for sex.

The official charge is called capturing images of an unclothed person. It is a crime taken seriously by police because it doesn’t just impact the victim, but also has a chilling effect on all of us.

John Michael Johnson faces up to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to trying to force a woman renting a room at this Alpine Township mobile home into having sex with him, threatening her with secretly recorded images of in her bedroom.

According to Kent County sheriff’s detectives, Johnson used a device that can be ordered online for as little as $60.

“The spying itself can be done so much more covertly than it ever could be before that it’s becoming difficult to detect," Kent County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Joel Roon said.

And more high-end devices are available, making detection even more difficult.

“Even we have to send it to a lab to tell us this is a recording device. It’s just not that obvious to be even able to tell when it’s sitting in your own hands,” Roon said.

In September, the woman told investigators that Johnson sent her text messages that included images of her with a man and saying he would expose the affair publicly if she did not have sex with him.

Among the text messages were statements like, “You will be naked and from now on you will obey only me” and “Get used to following orders.”

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