A whirlwind Music Tour of Ireland hosted by the Makem and Spain Brothers band began on Friday minus Connor Makem, who was arrested last month on 25 counts of Invasion of Privacy and evidence tampering for allegedly planting a camera in a women’s bathroom where he worked and then allegedly disposing of the camera after police began their investigation.
Makem, 45, was forced to give up his American passport to comply with bail conditions after his initial arrest on Oct. 17, and after his second arrest a week later on several additional counts of Invasion of Privacy, he was required to give up his Irish passport as well, according to Rochester Police Captain Paul Toussaint.
Makem, who was born in County Louth, Ireland, has dual citizenship, Toussaint said.
A phone call to Brack Tours of Dublin confirmed the Nov. 1-10 tour commenced on Friday as scheduled.
The tour was billed on the Makem and Spain Brothers website as a unique and intimate travel experience. “The trip features a Belfast City tour, the Titanic Experience, music at the Makem family's private session house, with fellow Makems and locals blasting out the songs and tunes …”
The Makem and Spain Brothers band features traditional Irish music and tours nationwide. So far this fall they have played venues in New York, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
Makem, 45, a former reporter for Foster’s Daily Democrat and the Rochester Times, was terminated by Foster’s hours before his initial arrest.
He is charged with 25 misdemeanor counts of Invasion of Privacy involving six alleged victims and one felony count of Falsification of Physical Evidence for disposing of the suspected camera, police said.
Rochester Police, meanwhile, continue the forensic study of Makem’s computers and other devices, including his iMac computer on which police say they found several dozen images of child pornography. Makem has not been charged in connection with those images.
Makem moved out of his Dover, N.H., residence shortly after the arrest was made and is now living in Massachusetts.
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.
The female victims listed in police charges were unknowingly videotaped “in various stages of undress” while in the Merchant’s Plaza women’s bathroom shared by Foster’s Rochester Bureau staff and several other businesses.
A felony Falsification of Evidence conviction can bring up to seven years in prison, while Class A Misdemeanors can draw a year apiece.