O.C. rug merchant’s sexual assault victims now at 11, police say
The Laguna Beach rug merchant accused of sexually assaulting several women in his Laguna Beach store may face additional charges as more alleged victims step forward.
As of Tuesday, Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Robert Rahaeuser said, police now have 11 alleged victims total, the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot reported.
Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan, 53, was arrested twice in early September on 10 charges that included forcible rape, sexual battery by restraint, false imprisonment, penetration with a foreign object, attempted forcible oral copulation and a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure.
A sign outside the Sirous & Sons Rug Gallery at 222 Ocean Ave. announces that the site is available for rent. A woman who answered the phone at the location insisted the store was still open, but its doors were locked and the lights out during regular business hours. Its website also appears to have been taken down.
About two weeks ago, a 47-year-old woman came forward and alleged she was a victim of false imprisonment and sexual battery by Maralan in June 2009, according to Rahaeuser.
A 45-year-old woman reported to police in the last month that in August 2007 Maralan exposed himself and attempted to rape her at his store.
A 52-year-old woman reported that she was sexually assaulted by Maralan in his store in 2009.
Another woman, 51, alleges she was falsely imprisoned by Maralan in 2009.
Rahaeuser said all 11 women are willing to prosecute.
Maralan was first arrested Sept. 1 for allegedly sexually assaulting three women and distributing pornography to a 17-year-old girl. The second arrest Sept. 14 was spurred by allegations from three out of six additional victims, police said.
Charges have been filed in eight of the cases. Additional reports have been submitted to the district attorney's office for review.
Maralan remains in custody with bail set at $2 million.
-- Joanna Clay, Times Community News
Photo: Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office