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OC District Attorney Details Sex Allegations That Prompted Councilman’s Arrest

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SANTA ANA (CBS) — District Attorney Tony Rackauckas Tuesday described Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante as a sexual bully, who cornered women in his office and groped them, apparently without fear of being caught.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas discussed the allegations and felony charges against Carlos Bustamante at news conference. The charges stem from Bustamante’s alleged sexual encounters with seven employees during his tenure at the Orange County Public Works department.

Bustamante, 47, was arrested Monday afternoon while on his way to into the City Council meeting. He posted $100,000 bail and was released from jail around 11:30 p.m.

“Carlos was very well-connected,” Rackauckas said, quoting one of Bustamante’s alleged victims, “not just executive management … but at the board level.”

Another alleged victim said: “He was really close to our (human resources) manager. Everyone’s under Carlos, pretty much, everyone. He’s like mister, like a god kind of thing.”

Another said she was “afraid” of him, because she had seen how he “would help other people get rid of people — fire people — and I was afraid that would happen to me.”

He is facing multiple felony charges including six counts of false imprisonment, three counts of assault with intents to commit a sexual offense, stalking, attempted sexual battery by restraint, grand theft by false pretense.

The charges include sentencing enhancements of committing the offenses as a result of sexual compulsion and for the purpose of sexual gratification.

The married father of three stepped down from his post as executive manager for Orange County Public Works last October after anonymous letters were sent to the Orange County Register alleging he had sexual encounters with four current and former employees in his department.

According to the Register, some of the women were promoted in exchange for sexual favors.

Bustamante denied those allegations at the time.

The writer of the letter also claimed to have “steamy, erotic pictures”, but those photographs never surfaced.

Bustamante is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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