UPTON (CBS) – The landlord accused of secretly recording his upstairs tenants through a heating vent has been ordered to stay away from his home and the tenants he’s accused of violating.

Police say 42-year-old James Hill, who lives in his duplex on Main Street, was secretly recording his two tenants and possibly the 17-year-old daughter of one of the tenants from downstairs in the basement.

On Wednesday, a Milford District Court judge told Hill he must stay away from his house in Upton and the victims for a year. As part of that order, he must turn over his keys and stay 50 yards from the building.

Shelli Stoddard and Christine Safstrom went to court Wednesday to request an extension of the harassment order for a full year.  A judge told the women that Stoddard’s 17-year-old daughter, Miranda Levasseur, also needed to be present in court.

“[To] have to face him [Hill] and explain to a judge why she needs a harassment order against this man is going to be really heartbreaking,” Stoddard told reporters.

“I would feel safer without him there [at the duplex],” said Levasseur, a senior in high school.  She had to leave school for the morning to attend the hearing.

“He could be looking at me, my mother, my roommate, anything.  I’m so curious as to what he was looking at and I feel vulnerable because of that.”

Hill, an IT professional, did not contest the harassment order.   He will be arraigned on the criminal charge Thursday.

Safstrom and Stoddard moved into the apartment a month ago. Shelli says she was in the bathroom Tuesday when she noticed something that looked like a stick protruding from a vent.

When she looked closer, she saw it was a pinhole style camera. As she went to grab it, the camera was pulled back into the basement.

Hill later admitted to officers he was recording his tenants, police said.

WBZ-TV’s Bree Sison contributed to this report.

You can follow her on Twitter @BreeSison.


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