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OC DA Reveals Explicit Details of Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Councilman Bustamante
In a press conference held this morning, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas offered explicit details regarding the arrest of Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante, specifically the allegations that culminated in the numerous sex-related charges the politician faces.Rackauckas elaborated that the charges cover multiple accusers, named only as Jane Does 1 through 7, and that he intended to "be measured in describing the incidents regarding the sex crimes" to protect Jane Does.
Who were the victims? "He had a type," asserted Rackaukas. Bustamante allegedly targeted "women of similar ethnic backgrounds, age range, and physical characteristics," and in particular "county employees who were subordinate to the defendant," and "women who were emotionally vulnerable."
The victims who came forward said they were afraid to report the sexual advances and assault because of Bustamante's political clout, citing his relationships with power players in the California Republican Party, including former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bustamante allegedly boasted about his role in law enforcement, and his ability to get people fired. One victim reported Bustamante was a powerful man to be feared: "He's mister, like, God kind of thing," Rackauckas relayed from claims against the councilman.
Bustamante is thought to have "groomed his victims, wore them down...verbally badgered and mentally harassed" them, and lured them into his office by phone or email under the pretense of needing to speak with them on a work-related matter. Sometimes he would take the women out of the office to a remote area and assaulted them in his vehicle.
In his office, which his victims say they thought was soundproof, Bustamante essentially trapped the women, closing the door behind them.
Rackaukas offered the following graphic details of the various alleged assaults:
"[Bustamante] rubbed his face against theirs, grabbed their breasts, touched their bare thighs, moved his hands up towards their vaginas on the upper part of the leg, under skirts sometimes, grabbed their buttocks, exposed himself--exposed himself and even masturbated in front his victims on a number of occasions. When they attempted to escape from the office, he cornered them to prevent them from leaving. He pinned them against walls, hugged them tightly, close enough the victims describe that when he was hugging them--squeezing them--they could feel his erect penis through the clothes."
Bustamante was booked into jail in Santa Ana following his Monday evening arrested. He posted bond and was released late Monday night. He has previously denied rumors of allegations of sexual misconduct in his role in the Orange County Public Works, but ultimately resigned his post in the department. Bustamante has been on the Santa Ana City Council since 2004.