(CBS4) – Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of former Denvver firefighter Daniel Flesner, accused of planting a hidden camera in the room of a female firefighter so he could watch her disrobe.
“This is a joke that went wrong”, said Mikhail Laskin, an attorney representing Flesner.
Flesner, a former Denver Fire Department lieutenant, is charged with invasion of privacy for sexual gratification and tampering with physical evidence. In March of 2019, Flesner is accused of planting a tiny camera in the female firefighter’s room at Station 9. The woman was in her room at the firehouse reading when someone passed by and spoke to her. She said a few seconds later, she heard her own voice repeat what she had just said.
In opening statements, a prosecutor said the female firefighter had an “eerie feeling she was being watched.” She searched the room and found what looked like a cellphone charger that actually houses a hidden camera, which was aimed at the area where she changes her clothes.
She said she reported what she found to Flesner, who was her supervisor. Flesner was later alleged to have found to be using a pin to tamper with the SD card inside the camera.
Flesner “admitted to placing the camera device,” according to an affidavit in the case, but he said “that it was meant to be a joke and that he had purchased the camera to keep an eye on his garage, but that he did not know it recorded.”
The motion activated camera is capable of transmitting video directly to a cellphone.
Flesner was suspended and later resigned.
Police investigators said when they searched the SD card, they found a single video from the evening of March 30, which showed the female firefighter entering her bedroom and changing her clothes.
In opening statements Tuesday morning, a prosecutor said “He put that camera in her room knowing it was wrong… because he wanted to see her, look at her changing for his sexual gratification.”
Prosecutors said a video found on the SD card showed the female firefighter “exposing her breasts to the camera.”
Laskin told the jury there was no evidence Flesner planted the camera for his sexual gratification. He said when police executed a search warrant for Flesner’s computer and other electronic devices “They came up with nothing — no nudes, no pornos, nothing.”
Laskin said the prosecutor’s theory “makes no sense.”
He told the jury Flesner had engaged in an “ill-advised prank” and that the former lieutenant had exhibited “bad judgment.”
The jury trial is expected to run through the end of the week.