A Miami pediatric surgeon known for his charitable work is facing criminal charges after prosecutors say he snooped on his girlfriend by logging onto her online security camera feed.
Dr. Colin Knight, who works primarily at Miami’s Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, was arraigned this week on more than a dozen counts of unlawfully accessing a computer.
Prosecutors believe that for months, mostly while they dated, he secretly watched the camera feeds that showed real-time footage of her living room and family room. “The victim states that she did not give [Knight] authorization” to access her security account, according to an arrest warrant.
His defense lawyer insists the woman, unidentified in court documents, only went to the police because she was upset about their breakup, then asked him for $400,000 for “damages.”
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“There is no crime here. She gave him the password and now it’s sour grapes,” lawyer Alexander Fox said in a statement. “He cared about her mental state during and after he broke it off and checked on her — the cameras were in public areas of the house. Nothing intimate.”
Knight, 48, has been a surgeon with Nicklaus Children’s since 2007, and is a a member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery. He also is an advocate for “robot-enhanced” surgeries.
He’s done disaster relief for Haiti and is the head of a chapter of Sunset Elemenrary’s All-Pro Dads Day, a program for children and their fathers.
Knight continues to have privileges at the hospital. “We will follow the outcome of the legal proceedings associated with this nonclinical matter,” a hospital spokeswoman said.
A lawyer representing the victim said that the request for damages was made by a previous attorney, done without the woman’s consent.
“The defendant logged into my client’s home security system thousands upon thousands of times without her consent or knowledge. Her security system is comprised of five cameras, one of which was able to capture her dressing and undressing daily,” said Robin Pimentel, who now represents the woman.
“There are literally 6,000 to 8,000 log ins that can be attributed to the defendant, where he would violate my client’s right to privacy and watch her on a daily basis for well over a year. This only begins to scratch the surface.”
The case began in May, shortly after the two had broken up, when Knight’s ex-girlfriend noticed the battery on her internal security camera was running low. She called ADT, the security company, and was asked to access her online account.
When she said she didn’t know the password, an ADT representative told the surprised woman her account was being regularly accessed to watch the two cameras.
The woman called Coral Gables Police. Her suspicion: that Knight, her ex-boyfriend, was the one secretly watching the live feeds, one of her living room, the other of her family room.
According to prosecutors, Knight’s snooping lasted from November 2016 to May 2017.
Detectives traced the IP address of the user logging into the security-camera feed — and it came back to Nicklaus Children’s hospital, where Knight works. Hospital records also showed he logged into the ADT website while he was logged into his internal hospital computer terminal.
Subpoenas also revealed that Knight was logging onto the ADT account from his home computer.