On Thursday, Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced that Bronx resident Heriberto Polanco pleaded guilty to unlawful surveillance.
Polanco admitted he secretly recorded women in dressing rooms while he worked at Forever 21 at the Cross County Center in Yonkers.
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“The predatory behavior Heriberto Polanco displayed is incredibly disturbing and unacceptable,” Rocah said. “Everyone should have the expectation of privacy when they enter a changing room in a store, and Mr. Polanco violated that on numerous occasions.”
Polanco, 27, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to three counts of unlawful surveillance, a felony. According to his plea agreement, Polanco will receive probationary supervision with sex offender specific conditions and will be required to register as a sex offender.
On Aug. 28, 2019, around 7:15 p.m., a customer at Forever 21 was trying on clothes in a fitting room when she observed a cell phone resting on a sneaker just outside her fitting room with the camera lens aimed up into her dressing room, officials say. The victim started screaming and immediately called out to her 13-year-old sister who had been waiting just outside the dressing rooms. The victim's sister saw a man, identified as Polanco, a Forever 21 employee, running out of the dressing rooms.
Weeks later, Polanco was questioned by Yonkers Police and admitted to placing his phone under the victim's dressing room stall and attempting to record her changing in and out of clothes, police say. Polanco also allegedly admitted to recording other female customers in the dressing rooms of Forever 21 without their permission during August 2019.
Polanco was originally indicted by a Grand Jury on the following charges:
24 counts of Unlawful Surveillance 2: Use/Install Imaging Device for Amusement/Profit, class E felony
24 counts of Unlawful Surveillance 2: Use Imaging Device for No Legitimate Purpose, class E felony
Polanco is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7.
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