Culture

Ohio man who stalked and threatened actor Eva LaRue and her daughter for more than a decade is sentenced to prison

James David Rogers, 58, of Heath, Ohio, was sentenced to more than 3 years in federal prison after he threatened to rape and kill LaRue and her daughter.

A man who, for more than a decade, stalked actor Eva LaRue and threatened to rape and kill her and her daughter was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison.

James David Rogers, 58, of Heath, Ohio, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications and two counts of stalking, according to a Department of Justice news release.

He was sentenced Thursday in the U.S. District Court for Central California to 40 months in prison. He will then serve three years of probation.

“We feel like, finally, we know where he is. We know that for the next six years we will be able to breathe a massive sigh of relief and feel like we’re not looking over our shoulder constantly,” LaRue told NBC News over the phone on Friday.

The actor, 55, said Rogers would send letters where he would describe in detail “how he couldn’t wait to slowly dismember my daughter in front of me after raping her and torturing her.”

“How he couldn’t wait to pull her entrails out in front of me and saw her arms and legs off,” she said. “And that he was going to do the same to me.”

She described the horrifying letters as “next level heinous evil.”

The stalking went on from March 2007 until his arrest in November 2019. Prosecutors said Rogers would call LaRue and mail letters to her home that he signed as “Freddie Krueger,” a misspelling of the fictional character in the film series “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

In one disturbing handwritten letter, Rogers wrote that he was going to take “revenge” against the actor and her daughter, who was 5 when the threats began, according to an indictment. In a second letter addressed to LaRue’s daughter, he said he was going to “stalk” her and make her his “sex slave.” He ended the letter by threatening to kill the daughter and LaRue, the indictment says.

In a third letter, according to the indictment, Rogers wrote: “I am enjoying stalking you. I am going to instill fear into every part of your life.”

Prosecutors said that between March 2007 to June 2015, Rogers mailed about 37 handwritten and typed letters threatening LaRue and her daughter.

Prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum that LaRue and her daughter moved numerous times because of Rogers’ stalking.

“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,” prosecutors said.

“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.”

Authorities arrested Rogers, who worked as a nurse’s assistant at an assisted living facility, in 2019. Former FBI special agent Stephen Busch and former FBI attorney Steve Kramer tracked down Rogers’ identity by uploading his DNA to a genetic genealogy database.

Kramer and Busch had used the same method to help them solve the Golden State Killer case.

LaRue said she and her daughter have had to seek therapy because of the stalking and threats. During Rogers’ sentencing, she said she forgives him but will never forget what he put her family through.

“There’s no way I could erase that kind of anxiety. It is emblazoned on my soul and my daughter’s soul,” she said.

An attorney for Rogers could not immediately be reached on Friday.

LaRue, 55, is best known for her roles in “All My Children” and “CSI: Miami.” She’s also appeared in a number of other television series and movies including “The Young and the Restless,” “Fuller House,” and “Lakeview Terrace.”

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