Former AFD lieutenant turns himself in after setting up camera in locker room

Thursday, a warrant was issued for a former supervisor with the Austin Fire Department who is accused of setting up camera equipment in a women's locker room at a fire station.

James William Baker II is charged with invasive visual recording.

“I hope if these allegations are true that it's dealt with very harshly,” said Austin Firefighter Association President Bob Nicks

An arrest warrant said Baker placed the camera in the locker room and captured images of a female firefighter getting undressed before taking a shower.

According to court documents, the victim saw Baker leave the locker room before she entered, and, after she exited the shower, she noticed a blue light coming from rolled up cord of Christmas lights.

That blue light turned out to be a spy camera. “I mean this is a huge breach of trust in the fire department when you do this to a fellow firefighter,” Nicks said.

The warrant states the victim told police Baker approached her hours later, admitting the camera was his, apologizing and then trying to make a deal with her to get the camera back. Instead, the victim gave the camera to police and Baker quickly retired from the department.

“This is not the way firefighters operate. In fact, he is not a firefighter in my mind if it turns out what is alleged is true,” said Nicks. Police said Baker also admitted to placing the camera in the locker room on another occasion when no female employees were working.

“The female firefighters are in an uproar, as are the male firefighters. I mean, you think about it, where this occurred, it's not just the female firefighters that go in that bathroom. Our families go in that bathroom, our children and grandchildren go in that bathroom. We don't know what happened, but we're thinking the worst,” Nicks said.

Nicks said what’s extremely frustrating is that this isn't the first time the department has heard complaints about Baker.

About four years ago, Baker was accused of touching female patients inappropriately according to Nicks. Nicks believes if Baker was properly investigated at that time, it could've prevented him from victimizing the female firefighter.

Thursday, Baker turned himself in on invasive visual recording charges.

If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison.