|For Immediate Release
Case # 11CF1489
June 10, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENT CHARGED WITH INSTALLING “SPYWARE” AND RECORDING THOUSANDS OF IMAGES OF SIX UNSUSPECTING VICTIMS FOR SEXUAL GRATIFICATION
SANTA ANA – A computer science student was charged this week with illegally installing “spyware” on six women’s computers without their knowledge or consent to take and access live and still images of them for sexual gratification. Trevor Timothy Harwell, 20, Fullerton, was charged June 7, 2011, with 12 felony counts of computer access and fraud with sentencing enhancement allegations for committing a crime for sexual gratification. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six years and four months in state prison. Harwell is out of custody on $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned July 21, 2011, in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
Beginning in June 2009, Harwell is accused of being enrolled as a computer science major at Biola University and working at a Brea-based computer technical services and repair shop. Harwell is accused of meeting six victims through friends and his church and gaining access to their computers under the pretense of providing computer technical services.
Harwell is accused of illegally accessing the six victims’ computers to install “CamCapture” software, which enabled him to record live and still images from a remote computer. Harwell is accused of setting up alerts to notify him to begin recording when a victim was using her computer. He is accused of recording videos and photographs of each of his victims in various states of undress without their knowledge for his sexual gratification.
Two of the victims, who were sisters, observed that the computer camera was irregularly blinking and took it to be repaired. They were advised that the blinking was due to the installation of CamCapture. The sisters reported the fraudulently installed spyware to the Fullerton Police Department, who investigated this case and identified four additional victims.
The newly-launched Orange County Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (OCRCFL) examined digital evidence pertaining to the six victims in this case. OCRCFL is a full-service forensics laboratory and training center devoted to the examination of digital evidence. It arms law enforcement agencies with the expertise and equipment to combat cyber criminals and respond to the growing number of crimes perpetrated using the Internet, cell phones, and other technology, which provide dangerous criminals greater access to citizens’ personal and private information.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Anthony Sosnowski at (714) 347-8814.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.