Makem waives arraignment, hires defense attorney

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Conor Makem (Rochester Police photo)

ROCHESTER – Former Rochester Times and Foster’s Daily Democrat reporter Conor Makem waived his arraignment on Monday on several Invasion of Privacy and Destruction of Evidence charges relating to his alleged placement of a camera in a women’s bathroom near the offices of Foster’s Rochester bureau.
Makem, who is free on $15,000 cash bail, will now await an arraignment early next month on 13 additional Invasion of Privacy counts stemming from his second arrest on Oct. 25, a week after his initial arrest in the case. The second arrest stemmed from additional alleged victims police say they found on Makem’s computers and other devices.
The Destruction of Evidence charge stems from his alleged tampering and dumping of the camera, which was reportedly installed in the women’s bathroom near a suite of offices that included the Foster’s bureau inside a section of Merchants Plaza.
The female victims listed in police affidavits were unknowingly videotaped “in various stages of undress” inside the bathroom.
Rochester Police are investigating several computers and electronic devices used by Makem, including his iMac computer on which police say they found several dozen images of child pornography. Makem, however, has not been charged in connection with any images of child porn.
Rochester Police Captain Paul Toussaint said earlier this month that a forensic study such as the one that Rochester Police and the FBI are now engaged in with Makem’s computers can be painstakingly slow as investigators have to open every individual image.
The FBI is assisting Rochester Police with the computer analysis.
Meanwhile, Makem, 45, of Amesbury, Mass., has hired Att. Timothy Harrington of high-powered law firm Shaheen & Gordon of Dover as his defense counsel.
An accomplished musician in a band that plays traditional Irish music, Makem had to miss a whirlwind Music Tour of Ireland hosted by the Makem and Spain Brothers band earlier this month after surrendering both his American and Irish passports.
Makem, who was born in County Louth, Ireland, has dual citizenship.
The Makem and Spain Brothers band tours nationwide. So far this fall they have played venues in New York, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
A concert scheduled this fall at the Rochester Opera House has been postponed.
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. They made the initial arrest a week later.
A felony Falsification of Evidence conviction can bring up to seven years in prison, while Invasion of Privacy, a Class A Misdemeanor, can draw a year apiece.

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