Former senior military officer Alfred Keating found guilty of planting secret camera in bathroom

The man who was once our top military official in the US has been convicted of planting a camera in an embassy toilet.

On Thursday a jury found Alfred Keating, a former senior military officer, guilty of trying to make an intimate recording of another person.

A camera was discovered in the unisex bathroom of the New Zealand embassy in Washington DC in July 2017. It had been purposely mounted inside a heating duct unit in the bathroom, at a height and direction that recorded people using the toilet.

The camera had captured images of 19 people the day it was found. The amount of dust it was covered in indicated it had been in place for a number of months, although it had only been activated that morning. 

When staff discovered the camera, Keating was accused of planting it to film his colleagues.

There was evidence Keating's swipe card had been used to access the area near the bathroom on the day the camera was found, the court heard.

On Monday the jury was shown CCTV footage from the embassy taken the morning of July 27, 2018, showing a man using Keating's swipe card walking toward the bathroom. Five minutes later the same man was seen walking away from the bathroom. Prosecutors said this proved Keating had gone into the bathroom to activate the camera.

An investigation found software from BrickHouse Security (the brand of camera found in the bathroom) had been installed on Keating's computer on July 24 2018 and uninstalled three days later, hours after the camera was discovered.

Keating's browsing history revealed he'd Googled 'BrickHouse camscura modes' and 'BrickHouse camscura switch positions'.

Police did not find any indecent images on Keating's electronics, but the court heard a software cleaner was installed on his computer two months after the camera was discovered.

The 59-year-old, who held the rank of Commodore in the Royal New Zealand Navy, resigned from his position when charges were laid against him in 2018. 

He was New Zealand's most senior ranked member of the Defence Force in the United States and the head of defence staff and the defence and naval attache to the US at the time of the alleged incident.

He applied for name suppression in an attempt to protect his daughter, also serving in the military, but lost suppression in May 2018.


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