Telesforo Aviles, 35, secretly accessed the security feed of more than 200 customers in order to watch them undress and engage in sexual activity, according to federal prosecutors

By Gabrielle Chung
January 22, 2021 09:04 PM
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A former ADT technician based in Dallas has pleaded guilty to secretly accessing the security feed of over 200 customers in order to watch them undress and engage in sexual activity, according to federal prosecutors.

Telesforo Aviles, 35, admitted in plea papers to hacking into the accounts more than 9,600 times over the course of four and a half years, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Northern District of Texas said in a press release on Thursday.

Aviles is now facing up to five years in federal prison.

"This defendant, entrusted with safeguarding customers' homes, instead intruded on their most intimate moments," acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a statement. "We are glad to hold him accountable for this disgusting betrayal of trust."

According to prosecutors, Aviles took note of which homes had attractive women and added his personal email to accounts on ADT Pulse, an app that allows customers access real-time video feed of their home.

In some instances, Aviles claimed he needed to temporarily add himself to customers' accounts in order to test the system, prosecutors said. Other times, he added himself without their knowledge.

Aviles watched numerous customers' security footage "for sexual gratification," according to the prosecution.

"The defendant used his position of employment to illegally breach the privacy of numerous people. The FBI works with our law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate all cyber intrusions and hold criminals accountable for their actions," Matthew J. DeSarno, special agent in charge of the FBI's Dallas field office, said in a statement. "Cyber intrusions do not only affect businesses, but also members of the public. We encourage everyone to practice cyber hygiene with all their connected devices by reviewing authorized users and routinely changing passwords."

When contacted for comment, a spokesperson for ADT directed PEOPLE to a page on their website about the incident.

According to the webpage, ADT terminated Aviles' employment in April 2020 after a customer reported an unauthorized email found on their account.

The company said that 220 Dallas-area customers were affected by the security breach. 

"Our customers trust ADT with their safety and protection. We understand that this incident jeopardizes that trust and is entirely unacceptable. We will make extraordinary efforts to earn back that trust," a statement issued by the company on April 23, 2020 read.

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"This incident does not reflect the values of our brand nor the thousands of men and women at ADT who have dedicated their careers to helping protect others," the statement continued. "We apologize to the customers affected by the actions of this former employee and deeply regret this incident. The ADT mission is to help protect and connect people with the things they love most."

The Dallas Morning News reports that several lawsuits have been filed by ADT customers in Texas in connection to the security breach.

Aviles' attorney, Thomas Pappas, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's comment.