City Councilman Arrested On Several Sex-Related Charges [UPDATED]
Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante was on his way to the Monday evening City Council meeting, but was taken off course when he was arrested on suspicion of several sex-related crimes. Bustamante, 47, was arrested at 4:30 p.m. Monday on six felony counts of false imprisonment, three felony counts of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense, one felony count each of stalking, attempted sexual battery by restraint, and grand theft by false pretense, and one misdemeanor count each of battery, assault, sexual battery, and attempted sexual battery with a sentencing enhancement allegation for committing the offenses as a result of sexual compulsion and for the purpose of sexual gratification, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
Bustamante is a Santa Ana native and was first elected to the City Council in November 2004. Recently, however, Bustamante has been at the center of professional scandal; nine months ago the married councilman resigned as executive manager with the Orange County Public Works department amid allegations of sexual misconduct involving co-workers. Yesterday's arrest likely stems from those allegations.
The investigation into the charges for which Bustamante was arrested Monday began earlier this year. From the OC Register:
Prosecutors received an investigative report from the county counsel's office regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against Bustamante in March, after the county's internal audit department looked into how county executives handled the allegations and delivered a confidential report to the county's Board of Supervisors.
Further, the Register has received details about the alleged crimes:
A second anonymous letter sent to the county and obtained by the Register gave the names of four current and former female O.C. Public Works employees with whom Bustamante allegedly had sexual encounters in his office over the past several years and provided more graphic detail of the allegations. All four were subordinate to Bustamante, according to the letter.
Bustamante and one of the women "met more than a dozen times a month for more than a year either in his office or her palatial quarters he built for her," the letter said. The letter writer also promised "steamy, erotic pictures" of the sexual encounters would soon be posted on social media.
Bustamante's bail was set at $100,000 and he posted bond late Monday night, and was released from the Orange County sheriff's Intake Release Center in Santa Ana.
John Moorlach, chairman of the county's board of supervisors, says the charges against Bustamante are "a real black eye for the county," notes the Register.
UPDATE 10:15AM: In a press conference held Tuesday morning, Rauckauckas revealed explicit details regarding the allegations brought against Bustamante by seven "Jane Doe" accusers.