Second suit claims Hamptons landlord spied on renters
The East Hampton landlord who allegedly spied on summer renters with hidden cameras has been sued for $14.1 million by a second family.
The suit filed in federal court accuses Donald Torr and wife, Astrid, of sexual exploitation of minors and invasion of privacy when 13 members of a Long Island family with young children rented the Winterberry Lane property for $6,500 for one week this past August.
The plaintiffs were identified only by initials to protect the children's identities, but their lawyer, Dan Solinsky of Woodbury, said the four siblings and their children stayed there just before the renters who claim they traced a wire to one of many video cameras.
"They feel awful about it," Solinsky said. "They literally had to sit with each other and go over everything they were afraid could have been caught on tape."
The suit said video cameras were pointed at beds, including from a bedroom radiator and a television speaker, and others were in the shower areas.
Reached at his home in Celebration, Fla., Torr said he knew of the suit, filed in Central Islip in February, but said his attorney told him not to talk to the media. "It's hard when you really can't defend yourself and everything goes public," Torr said. "It'll all come out eventually."
When asked why there were cameras, he replied, "There's a reason for everything," before declining to say more.
His attorney, Steven Lee of Manhattan, declined to comment.
In October, nine renters filed a federal suit against Torr, claiming invasion of privacy.
That suit said one of the renters traced a wire back to one of several cameras. Cameras were connected to a digital recorder that was linked to the Internet, allowing Torr to "view the videos remotely on his computer," the suit said.
With a search warrant on Aug. 31, the Suffolk district attorney's office seized cameras and electronic equipment from the rental. East Hampton police are also investigating.
The district attorney's office declined to comment, and East Hampton detectives could not be reached.But Solinsky said police told him the tapes ran 24 hours a day and some footage shows his clients in the nude.
He said his clients were suspicious of Torr during their stay. When they requested something, Torr often called shortly after the work was done, even though he was supposedly in Spain: "He'd call up within 15 minutes of it happening, saying 'Hey did this get resolved?' They said he was quick on something that there's no way he could have known."