ROCHESTER – The former reporter and member of a renowned Irish music group arrested last week in a bathroom camera scandal has been hit with 13 more counts of Invasion of Privacy in connection with the case.
Rochester Police arrested Conor Brendan Makem, 45, today on the additional charges, which are the result of five more victims being discovered during the ongoing forensic study of Makem’s personal and newspaper computers and other electronic devices.
That brings to six the number of female victims listed in police charges who were unknowingly videotaped “in various stages of undress” while in a Merchant’s Plaza women’s bathroom shared by Foster’s Rochester Bureau staff and several other businesses.
Makem, a longtime reporter for Foster’s Daily Democrat and the Rochester Times, was originally charged with 12 misdemeanor counts of Invasion of Privacy, bringing the total number against him now to 25.
In addition he faces one felony count of Falsification of Physical Evidence for allegedly tampering with evidence – the camera - sought in the case.
His employment with the Foster’s and the Times was terminated shortly before his arrest on Oct. 17.
Police say Makem’s address is now listed as 47 Pearl St., Amesbury, Mass., after moving from his Dover address last weekend.
Rochester Police noted that even with today’s charges, the forensic study of Makem’s computers and other devices could result in further arrests.
One of the earlier search warrant affidavits revealed the existence of several dozen images of child pornography on Makem’s iMac computer, however, he has not been charged in connection with those images.
Makem, who remains free after posting $10,000 cash bail the day of his initial arrest, and an additional 5,000 cash bail in connection with Friday's chargers, $15,000 in all, will face the charges next month in Rochester District Court.
The initial police investigation began on Oct. 7 when the woman who first discovered the suspected camera called police to ask if Makem had contacted them about the device as he had promised, and officers realized he had not.
Police on Oct. 10 executed a search warrant at the Foster’s Rochester Bureau at Merchants Plaza and seized computers and other electronic devices used by Makem, including some owned by Foster's.
A felony Falsification of Evidence conviction can bring up to 7 years in prison, while Class A Misdemeanors can draw a year apiece.
Makem is a member of the Makem and Spain Brothers Band, a well-known touring band that plays traditional Irish music.
He is the son of the late Tommy Makem, who played with the renowned Clancy Brothers, and is known as the Godfather of Irish music.