Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Case # 11CF1489
July 20, 2012
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENT CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR INSTALLING “SPYWARE” AND RECORDING THOUSANDS OF IMAGES OF SIX UNSUSPECTING VICTIMS FOR SEXUAL GRATIFICATION
SANTA ANA – A computer science student was convicted today of illegally installing “spyware” on six women’s computers without their knowledge or consent to record and access live and still images of them for sexual gratification. Trevor Timothy Harwell, 21, Fullerton, pleaded guilty to six felony counts of computer access and fraud and was sentenced to one year in the Anaheim City Jail, five years of formal probation, and was ordered to complete a Sex Offender Treatment program. A determination regarding whether the defendant will be required to register as a sex offender will be made by the court prior to the completion of Harwell’s probation.
Beginning in June 2009, Harwell enrolled as a computer science major at Biola University and worked at a Brea-based computer technical services and repair shop. Harwell met six victims through friends and his church and gained access to their computers under the pretense of providing computer technical services.
Harwell illegally accessed the six victims’ computers to install “CamCapture” software, which enabled him to record live and still images from a remote computer. Harwell set up alerts to notify him to begin recording when a victim was using her computer. He recorded 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 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.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri of the Special Prosecutions Unit
prosecuted this case.