By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) – A female Denver firefighter who found a hidden camera planted in her bedroom in a Denver firehouse testified Tuesday afternoon. She said she experienced “complete panic” after finding the concealed camera in March 2019.

“I was really scared,” said the fire department technician, as she recalled finding the camera after hearing it emit audio. The hidden, motion-activated camera was disguised as a phone charger and was plugged into an outlet in the woman’s room.

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Daniel Flesner (credit: CBS)

One of her colleagues, Lt. Daniel Flesner, is on trial this week on charges of invasion of privacy for sexual gratification and tampering with physical evidence. He resigned from the department shortly after the camera was found. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“This is a joke that went wrong,” said Mikhail Laskin, an attorney representing Flesner. He told the jury Flesner had engaged in an “ill-advised prank” and that the former lieutenant had exhibited “bad judgment.”

He insisted the former lieutenant had done nothing criminal.

The female firefighter, who is 37 years old, said she was reading in bed at Station 9 in north Denver when she instinctually felt “something’s not right”.

She said she felt anxious and after finding the camera told a male colleague.

“I found a camera in my bedroom.. a hidden camera.”

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In opening statements Tuesday morning, a prosecutor said  Flesner “put that camera in her room knowing it was wrong… because he wanted to see her, look at her changing for his sexual gratification.”

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Prosecutors said a video found on the SD card showed the female firefighter “exposing her breasts to the camera.”

She testified even after discovering the camera, she was reticent to report what had happened.

“It’s already an uphill battle being a female in a firehouse. Being a female on the job you are mistrusted and not welcome at all the firehouses,” said the woman, who testified in her fire department uniform.

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.”

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The jury trial is expected to run through at least Wednesday.

Brian Maass