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Popular public official accused of assaulting 19 women

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Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Carlos Bustamante, an administrative manager for Orange County Public Works and a member of the Santa Ana City Council has been accused of sexually assaulting 19 women between 2003 and 2011.

Carlos is accused of targeting women of similar appearance and those whom he knew to be vulnerable due to relationship status, employment position, or emotional state.

Carlos is charged with stalking, false imprisonment, sexual battery, battery, assault, and assault with the intention to commit a sexual offense of seven women. The other twelve cases are barred by the statute of limitations.

Carlos allegedly cornered his victims in his office by calling them in under false pretenses. He then would close the door behind the victim and begin the assault. If the victims tried to escape, Carlos would pin them against the wall or hug them so tight they could feel his erection.

The victims apparently kept quiet out of fear. Many victims felt that if they spoke up, Carlos would target them and they would lose their jobs. Many victims saw Carlos as a person who was influential in the office, a person who could get someone fired.

Additionally, Carlos is also accused of stealing $3,200 from Orange County. Carlos knowingly failed to reimburse the County for his portion of the fee for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at the Harvard Kennedy School in Boston. Carlos was to pay 25% of the $12, 791 spent attending the program. Further, Carlos is accused of receiving reimbursement for free meals provided by Harvard College.

Put in perspective, Carlos made an average of $170,000 a year working for Orange County Public Works. Typically, a County employee will make $36,000 or less.

For further information, visit the District Attorney’s website at www.orangecountyda.com. The District Attorney has released a statement, a copy of which can be found on the website. A preliminary hearing was held for Carlos on Tuesday, May 27.