A top naval officer has been accused of hiding a camera in the toilet of the New Zealand embassy in Washington in an attempt to record footage of people using the bathroom, according to court documents. Commodore Alfred Keating was a defense attache at the Washington embassy when the hidden camera was found in a unisex bathroom in July last year.
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Judge Grant Powell said, "It had been purposely mounted inside a heating duct in the bathroom at a height and direction that captured recordings from people who arrived and used the toilet." The covert recording device was placed in a bathroom used by approximately 60 people, all employees of the embassy.
The camera was only discovered when it fell to the floor by chance. Investigators found a thick layer of dust on its mounting side indicating it had been there for months. Keating had diplomatic immunity in the United States but police in New Zealand executed a search warrant at his home hoping to find evidence linking him to the camera. Police found no images but did find that Keating had installed driver software for the camera. His DNA was also found on the memory card in the camera.
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The creepy voyeur was charged with attempting to make an intimate visual recording in March. Following his arrest, Keating resigned from the military. A New Zealand High Court rejected a name suppression bid put forth by Keating's defense that argued he and his family would face "extreme hardship" if his name were made public.
Keating studied engineering in Britain and joined the Navy in 1976 where he was assistant chief of the navy in Wellington. He was eventually posted to Washington as New Zealand's most senior military officer until the charges were levied against him. Keating has pleaded not guilty and the case has yet to be resolved.
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