Felony charge to be heard in Rochester bathroom camera case
ROCHESTER — A 45-year-old man who worked for The Rochester Times for a decade is scheduled to be arraigned next week on a felony related to his alleged use of a camera to record women in a bathroom at Merchants Plaza office building.
Conor Brendan Makem of 47 Pearl St., Amesbury, Mass., faces 25 counts of misdemeanor invasion of privacy and one count of felony falsification of physical evidence. The charges arose after a woman found a camera-like device Oct. 7 in the ceiling of a second-floor women’s bathroom near the offices of Foster’s Daily Democrat and The Rochester Times. On Oct. 31, Makem’s attorney, Tim Harrington, filed an appearance and waived arraignment for 13 of the charges.
Makem is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 2 for the remaining charges — including the felony — in Rochester.
After speaking to Makem about the device, the woman alleged he removed it and told her he would call police. Instead, she said he claimed he threw the device into a nearby dumpster, according to court records.
Makem was terminated by his employers at Foster’s Daily Democrat before he was arrested in Dover Oct. 17. He was released on $5,000 cash bail.
According to court records, Makem allegedly used the camera to record six women in the bathroom at different times between July 2012 and October.
Police found probable cause to investigate child pornography and obscene matter and the interception and disclosure of telecommunications prohibited, according to the affidavits and warrants used to search Makem’s workspace, home and his seized electronic items — including computers, phones, camera and portable storage devices.
Three days later, police obtained a warrant to seize Makem’s cell phone, a camera, flash drives and some computers from the newspaper office and at his apartment in Dover. Although officers searched the dumpster, the device was not recovered, according to court records.
As part of the investigation, police allegedly discovered many images of child pornography, obscene material and images taken from the camera in the bathroom, according to court records.