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Former U.S. counterterrorism official pleads guilty to voyeurism

A former senior counterterrorism official for the State Department pleaded guilty to voyeurism and stalking charges on Wednesday for secretly video recording women undressing in their Washington, D.C. homes between 2012 and 2014.

Daniel Rosen, 45, recorded the women in various states of undress using his cell phone through their apartment windows, according to prosecutors. Law enforcement believes Rosen spied on at least 20 victims within the three-year statute of limitations. Rosen's guilty plea covers 11 victims. He's scheduled to be sentenced on October 9.

"He's not insane. He's not incompetent. He knew exactly what he was doing," Rosen's attorney Bernard Grimm told CBS News.

Rosen worked in the Office of Strategic Plans and Policy in the Bureau of Counterterrorism at the State Department. His guilty plea to the counts could carry a penalty of up to 11 years in prison.

Rosen's attorney told CBS News that Rosen's high-powered job may have contributed to his problems.

"Part of the condition that you have at this high-risk level is that you love the thrill of getting away with it," Grimm said.

Rosen lived in the D.C. neighborhood of Adams Morgan and his victims either lived in the same neighborhood or nearby in Mt. Pleasant or the U Street Corridor. According to court documents, Rosen would target victims who lived in basement-level apartments that are common in Washington rowhouses. The apartments often face alleys with little foot traffic. Some victims would draw their blinds but the U.S. Attorneys' office said Rosen would angle his phone through the cracks of the blinds to film the women.

Rosen's attorney says the victims were unaware that Rosen had violated their privacy.

"These women didn't know. They had to be informed," Grimm said.

On several occasions, according to court papers, Rosen tried disguising his late-night behavior by walking his dog while he stared into the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms of women.

"Daniel Rosen crept through the alleys and peered through windows to secretly film women during intimate, private moments in their homes," said acting U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen. "Today he admitted to being a serial stalker and voyeur who robbed women of the privacy they expected in their own bedrooms and bathrooms. I hope that the fact he is being held accountable will serve as a deterrent and will prevent others from engaging in this illegal and invasive conduct."

According to Grimm, Rosen was cooperative with authorities during the investigation and underwent a psychosexual evaluation. He has been seeing a therapist since late March, attending individual therapy once a week and group therapy every other week according to his attorney.

The State Department sent this statement to CBS News: "We are aware of reports about the plea and we take such matters very seriously." But a spokesperson declined to say whether Rosen was still employed by the State Department or to describe his position, citing privacy laws.

Rosen also faces charges for communicating online with a detective in Virginia who was posing as a 14-year-old girl. The case is pending in Fairfax County, Virginia.

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