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Man Pleads Not Guilty in Hooters Video

The former manager of a new Hooters restaurant pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he secretly videotaped more than a dozen job applicants as they were changing into waitress uniforms.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The former manager of a new Hooters restaurant pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he secretly videotaped more than a dozen job applicants as they were changing into waitress uniforms.

Juan Martin Aponte, 32, is charged with 25 felony and 32 misdemeanor counts. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

Illicit taping allegedly took place between November and February in a trailer outside a West Covina restaurant building that is being renovated to become a new Hooters.

Police began investigating Aponte in February when a woman told them she was asked to try on a Hooters uniform during a job interview, and she suspected a digital camera in the dressing room was recording her.

Search warrants were served at the construction trailer near the restaurant and at Aponte's Monrovia home. Prosecutors said about 180 digital recordings were seized.

Officials with the Atlanta-based restaurant chain said it is against company policy to ask job applicants to change their clothes.

Five of the alleged victims have sued Hooters of America, charging that the company was negligent in its supervision of Aponte.