A former employee of an Applebee's restaurant in Signal Hill pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges that he secretly recorded nine co-workers in a bathroom at the eatery.
Edgar Augusto Garcia Franco, 49, of Long Beach, was immediately sentenced to 360 days in county jail following his plea to 38 misdemeanor counts of unauthorized invasion of privacy by videotaping or photographing eight women and one man between July and August, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Superior Court Judge John D. Lord told Garcia Franco that he could face an additional 17 years and nine months behind bars -- the same duration as his probation -- if he commits any violations during that time period, according to the District Attorney's Office.
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The defendant will additionally be required to register as a sex offender for the duration of the sentence, and was ordered to stay away from all Applebee's restaurants, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Police were dispatched Aug. 19 to the Applebee's at 899 E. Spring St. following the discovery of a video camera inside the employees' restroom, according to Signal Hill police.
"The camera was used to capture footage of various employees inside of the restroom," according to a police statement. "There is no evidence that patrons of the restaurant were videotaped."
Garcia Franco was arrested Aug. 20 and has remained behind bars since then.