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Technology Taking On New Role in Los Angeles Peeping and Stalking Cases

June 23, 2011

The Los Angeles Times reportsa 20-year-old computer technician is accused of using computer software to spy on women undressing in their Orange County homes.

The arrest comes on the heels of the case of a San Dimas man accused of planting a camera inside the bathroom of a Glendora Starbucks and stalking a female college student.
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People accused of peeping and stalking have increasingly turned to technology to further their crimes. But as legislators catch up with technology, they will continue to increase penalties for using computers and online networks in crime. Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers, however, are prepared to defend any type of stalking case.

Computers can be accessed remotely and an innocent person can find themselves facing criminal charges for something they didn't do. That's why hiring an experienced Internet crimes attorney in Laguna Beach, Fullerton or Anaheim is crucial to a defendant's chances.

In the current case, the 20-year-old man is accused of planting software on college students' computers that brought up an error message that said "You should fix your internal sensor soon. If unsure what to do, try putting your laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor."

This error message led several women to take their computers with them into the bathroom when they showered, according to police. It allowed the suspect to record on his computer the women undressing through their web cameras without their knowledge.

Police said a forensic specialist examined hundreds of files after obtaining a search warrant for the man's computers to discover evidence against him. With more victims coming forward and the man already facing 12 charges based on six victims, he could be looking at serious consequences.

According to California Penal Code 647, a person who peeps into a person's house or uses video equipment to record a person undressing has committed disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. It is punishable by more than a month in jail without the possibility of probation, in some instances.

But California Penal Code 502, the California Comprehensive Computer Data Access and Fraud Act, is punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

These types of crimes are gaining more and more scrutiny as people's personal lives are being disrupted and sometimes exposed without their consent. So, not only are they charges that can call for jail time and fines and fees, but they also can ruin reputations, cost jobs and harm friendships. That's why it's important to fight the charges.

While some people feel the urge to explain the charges away, that typically won't work. Don't make any statements if you face these types of charges. Making a statement to detectives can only hurt your chances of beating the charge in court. And don't consent to a search of your property. Make police prove to a judge they have a right to search your home, computers, vehicle and property through a search warrant. If you are suspected of charges, call Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyers so we can advise you on your rights.

If you are facing Internet-related charges in Orange County, contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr. to discuss your options. Through three decades of experienced, Attorney LaBarbera has argued over 200 criminal trials and appeals. Call (714) 541-9668 for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights.