updated 9/4/2007 3:43:31 PM ET 2007-09-04T19:43:31

A man recently jailed for secretly videotaping a woman and a teenage girl has sued a police department for the return of his massive porn collection taken during the investigation.

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Dennis Saunders, 59, filed suit against San Rafael police in Marin County Superior Court after the department refused to give back some 500 pornographic movies and 250 magazines his lawyer described as unrelated to the peeping case.

“There’s absolutely no legal foundation for them withholding perfectly legal adult-oriented material,” Tiburon attorney Jon Rankin said.

The video collection alone was likely worth at least $10,000, Rankin said.

Saunders was arrested in 2002 and charged with taping the 45-year-old woman and 16-year-old girl in their bedrooms and bathrooms at an apartment complex where he worked. He was convicted of 48 misdemeanors and sentenced to more than eight years in jail, but was released last month with credit for good behavior.

A lawyer representing the city said authorities wanted direction from a judge on whether it would be “lawful or appropriate” to return the material to Saunders, who has a history of peeping-related arrests dating back to 1979.

“If the court orders us to give it back to him, we will give it back to him,” city lawyer Thomas Bertrand said.

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