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Carlos Bustamante sex accusations detailed by Orange County DA

July 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas described in graphic detail the alleged sexual crimes committed by Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante during a press conference Tuesday.

"This case exemplifies an abuse of power, an abuse of position, abuse of women and abuse of trust," said Rackauckas.

Rackauckas said Bustamante's female coworkers had viewed Bustamante as a high-ranking and well-connected executive during his time at the Orange County Department of Public Works. The alleged victims were lured into Bustamante's office, cornered in elevators, stairwells and even his car.

"He touched their bare thighs, moved his hands up toward their vaginas on the upper part of the leg under skirts sometimes, grabbed their buttocks, exposed himself and he even masturbated in front of the victims on a number of occasions," said Rackauckas.

The married 47-year-old father of three was arrested Monday after a four-month investigation by the D.A. and posted his $100,000 bond the same night.

He spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News following his release, but said he had no comment and that he wanted his privacy.

Bustamante is accused of sexually assaulting at least seven women over an eight-year period, yet the D.A. says the victims were reluctant to come forward.

"They were very worried about what might happen, they thought it was a career suicide for them, that they would be punished in their jobs, that they would lose their jobs," said Rackauckas.

The charges and arrest come nine months after Bustamante resigned from his position at the county public works department amid allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied.

He is also accused of committing grand theft of public funds, knowingly and fraudulently accepting reimbursements of up to $3,000 which he was never owed.

As an elected official, Bustamante must either resign from the Santa Ana City Council or be recalled.

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