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Orange County man allegedly put semen in female co-worker's water bottle [Updated]

August 17, 2010 |  2:15 pm

An investment company executive was arrested Tuesday after DNA recovered from a female co-worker's water bottle revealed he allegedly put semen into a bottle that she later drank from, prosecutors say.

Michael Kevin Lallana, 31, of Fullerton, a field director for Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of releasing an offensive material in a public place and assault on two separate occasions.

[Updated at 11:03 p.m.: A Northwestern Mutual spokeswoman said late Tuesday that Lallana was an independent contractor who recruited clients. She said his supervisor dismissed him upon learning of the allegations.]

Orange County prosecutors claimed Lallana committed the crimes earlier this year for sexual gratification.

The first incident allegedly occurred Jan. 14 when Lallana and the woman worked in the company's Newport Beach office. On that day, he left a semen-laced bottle of water on the victim's desk, and when she returned later, she drank from it. She fell ill and threw the bottle away, prosecutors said.

Three months later, prosecutors claim, Lallana repeated the act at the Northwestern office in Orange, where the two had been transferred. The woman, whose identity was withheld by prosecutors, again felt ill. Suspicious of the water’s contents, she sent it to a lab for analysis. In June, the private lab warned the woman that the bottle contained semen.

She reported the incidents to the Orange Police Department and investigators later obtained Lallana’s DNA, which matched that found in the water bottle.

Lallana, who has worked for Northwest Mutual for seven years and describes himself on company websites as a married father of a young daughter and a graduate of USC’s Marshall Business School, was arrested outside his Fullerton home.

If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison with mandatory sex-offender registration. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 14.

“It shocks the conscience,” said Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Taghavi.

Taghavi said investigators were able to key in on Lallana because he worked at both locations where the incidents occurred. During the investigation Lallana eventually volunteered to provide a sample of his DNA for testing, he said.

Taghavi said Lallana and the woman were colleagues, but Lallana had not expressed animosity toward the woman or done anything publicly to suggest he was the perpetrator.

“These are not charges you see every day,” Taghavi said.

-- Richard Winton