SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Former Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante pleaded guilty Friday to a series of felony and misdemeanor charges for sexual misconduct involving women with whom he worked at the county Public Works Department.
In a plea deal, Bustamante pleaded guilty to felony counts of attempted sexual battery and stalking, and misdemeanor counts of attempted sexual battery, simple assault, grand theft and two counts of false imprisonment.
Bustamante is expected to be sentenced to a year in jail and five years probation. He will also be required to register for life as a sex offender. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 22.
In January, five felony counts of false imprisonment and three felony counts of assault with intent to commit a sex offense against Bustamante were dismissed.
Bustamante was arrested in July 2012, when he was accused of sexually assaulting seven women with whom he worked between 2003 and 2012 while he worked as an Orange County Public Works executive.
Prosecutors read several victim impact statements addressed to Bustamante at his sentencing hearing Friday.
“When I was hired. I was extremely excited. I thought it would be a great beginning for me and a better life for my family. Never did I imagine that I would be treated the way you treated me,” one victim said in her statement. “Everything you did to me affected my job and my home life. There were many evenings that I was upset and scared and not able to focus on my family. There were many nights I couldn’t sleep thinking about work the next day.
“I always knew this type of behavior was wrong but never did I imagine this would happen to me. You knew that I couldn’t tell anyone and you knew that I couldn’t defend myself and it terrified me,” the statement continued. “All I did was go to work every day. You knew I needed my job and you knew I was helpless, yet you continued.”
“Before the assault, I would socialize, network and frequently attend work events,” another victim said in her statement. “As much as I tried to avoid being in this situation, it doesn’t matter because I still got violated… This is something I will have to struggle with for the rest of my life.”
Prosecutors said he also stole up to $4,029 in county funds by misleading co-workers into thinking he could use tuition reimbursement funds and expenses for meals to cover part of the costs of Harvard University’s Kennedy School training program.
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