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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Orange County Council Member Charged with Sexual Battery



According to the Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, City Council member Carlos Bustamante had a “type” that he preyed upon; “County employees who were subordinate to the defendant and women who were emotionally vulnerable."

Bustamante’s laundry list of charges include six felony counts of false imprisonment, three felony counts of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense, one felony count of stalking, attempted sexual battery by restraint, grand theft by false pretense, one misdemeanor count of battery, assault, sexual battery, and attempted sexual battery. Adding to that is the potential for greater sentencing because, according to California state law, there is a sentencing enhancement allegation for committing the offenses as a result of sexual compulsion and for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Bustamante, who was arrested on June 29th on his was to a City Council meeting, was a former manager for the Orange County Public Works Department who is described as “well connected” and allegedly used that power to the dismay of female employees.

During a news conference yesterday, D.A. Tony Rackauckas read from victims' statements obtained during his investigation. He reported that the “encounters” occurred in stairwells, in cars in parking lots and other remote areas in and around Bustamante's office. "Once they arrived (at the office), he cornered them by closing the door behind them," Rackauckas said.

The investigation of Bustamante started after authorities received several anonymous letters detailing his alleged sexual misconduct last October. Bustamante resigned from his post shortly thereafter and publicly asserted “The allegations in the anonymous letters were unsubstantiated because they are not true. Therefore I have decided to resign my position with the county and pursue a career in the private sector."

Bustamante made a salary of $170,000 working for the county and was released overnight after posting bond. Arraignment in the case is scheduled for tomorrow morning.

If you face a criminal charge in Orange County, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you in fighting your charges and/or reducing your sentence.
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