Michael Johnston Wiki – Michael Johnston Biography
Michael Johnston co-founder of the music service Audiotree faces a felony charge of unauthorized recording. He and his wife, Kelly Johnston, are also charged in a lawsuit brought by the two women of causing them extreme distress by secretly recording them. Johnston was also president of Lincoln Hall and Schubas Tavern.
The co-founder of a Chicago music company and recent president of two prominent North Side music venues is accused of secretly filming his babysitter and her friend while they were naked in private areas of their Chicago home, records show judicial.
Michael Johnston Age
Michael Johnston is 38 years old.
Charged – Arrested
In a statement posted on social media Monday night, Audiotree said it had cut ties with Johnston.
The lawsuit, filed in September, accuses the couple of asking the two women to guard the house overnight while they were out of town, encouraging them to use the master suite and then hide spy cameras disguised as normal items in the bathroom and other areas.
“(Women) take this action not only to regain their own power but to deter would-be onlookers and highlight the psychological damage caused by such abuse, which our society too often minimizes,” the lawsuit says.
Michael Johnston was arrested on November 9 and released the next day on a personal recognition bond of $ 10,000, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Wednesday.
The lawsuit, filed in Cook County by two recent DePaul University graduates who used the pseudonyms, Jane and Julie Doe, said the Johnstons hired Jane as a caregiver and nanny for their two young children in December 2019. Within days Kelly Johnston asked Jane to organize boxes in her closet that contained sex toys, the lawsuit alleges.
Jane was uncomfortable but continued to work for the family, the lawsuit says.
In January 2020, the Johnstons asked Jane to babysit them at home while they were out of town, and asked her to stay overnight, the lawsuit says. They also invited Julie, a friend of Jane’s who cared for the Johnstons’ close friends, to stay to keep Jane company. Jane stayed at the house from January 22-26 and Julie met with her from January 24-25.
Kelly Johnston specifically encouraged Julie and Jane to use the Jacuzzi in the master bathroom while taking care of the home, the lawsuit alleges. She also invited them to serve each other’s wine and beer.
The Johnstons had installed cameras, made to look like common objects, in the bathroom and other private spaces to record Jane and Julie stripping and taking baths, the lawsuit alleges.
The Johnstons again asked Jane to look after the house in February 2020, the lawsuit says. On February 14, Jane was undressing to take a bath when she found a hidden video camera disguised as a picture frame pointing toward the bathtub, according to the lawsuit.
Jane later found other hidden cameras around the home, some also disguised as objects, the lawsuit alleges. Jane was “moved” by her discovery and invited Julie to help her.
The lawsuit says the cameras were not babysitting cameras or security cameras. The Johnstons had separate child care cameras that monitored the children’s bedrooms and play areas. The aforementioned cameras were placed in areas the children did not go to, the suit says.
The cameras were online and motion-activated on the day’s Jane and Julie spent the night in the house, in areas the Johnstons “expressly” encouraged women to use.
Back in the days when women were scheduled to sit in the house, video footage shows Michael Johnston standing in the bathtub and positioning the camera to film the bathtub while reviewing the images on his cell phone, the lawsuit says.
The cameras captured nude images of the women without their consent, according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs believe the Johnstons intended to “prepare” them for future sexual activity.
At least two of the cameras had Wi-Fi capability that allowed the user to view images remotely from smartphone apps, the suit says.
After discovering the cameras, the two women have experienced “severe emotional trauma,” the lawsuit says.
“They look for hidden cameras everywhere, fearing they will secretly record them even in bathrooms and other places where they would normally expect privacy,” according to the lawsuit.
The women also fear that the images the Johnstons recorded have been posted or are being posted on the internet, through an intentional action or a breach of security.
Damon Cheronis, Michael Johnston’s attorney, told the Tribune that his client “takes these allegations seriously and will continue to work through the appropriate legal process.” Messages left at the numbers listed for Michael and Kelly Johnston were not returned.
Messages sent to Audiotree seeking further comment were also not returned. The statement the company posted on Twitter said Johnston “is no longer part of the Audiotree team.” He also said that he was removed as president of Lincoln Hall, Schubas and Tied House, a restaurant associated with Schubas. Co-founder Adam Thurston will take over as president and CEO, the statement read.