SANTA ANA ( — A preliminary hearing began Monday morning for a former Santa Ana City Councilman accused of sex assault.

Carlos Bustamante was arrested in July 2012 for the alleged sex assault of seven women while he was employed by Orange County Public Works between 2003 and 2012.

He is charged with six counts of false imprisonment, three counts of assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense and one count each of stalking, attempted sexual battery by restraint and grand theft by false pretense.

Bustamante also faces one misdemeanor count each of battery, assault, sexual battery and attempted sexual battery.

He could face approximately 28 years in prison if convicted.

The hearing is scheduled to last nine days.

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