Santa Ana councilman faces 12 counts in alleged sex assaults
Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante was charged with 12 felony counts in connection with allegations of sexual assault from at least seven women over eight years, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced Tuesday.
There is evidence of 12 more victims, Rackauckus said in a news conference, but because of the statute of limitations, Bustamante cannot be charged in connection with those allegations.
"This case exemplifies an unacceptable abuse of position, abuse of women and abuse of trust," Rackauckas said.
Bustamante allegedly targeted young Latinas with similar characteristics, he said.
"Each of the victims was afraid that, if they reported the sexual assault, they would be committing career suicide," Rackauckas said.
Bustamante has also been charged with one felony count of grand theft for allegedly fraudulently receiving a $3,100 reimbursement for a business trip, Rackauckus said.
"This grand theft occurred during one of the toughest fiscal times in county history," Rackauckas said.
Bustamante was arrested Monday in the parking lot outside of the Santa Ana City Council meeting. He is out of custody on $100,000 bail and was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Santa Ana