SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A high-risk sex offender with a long criminal record pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of exposing himself to women on Orange County buses.
Stephen Ponte Garcia, 37, is charged with two felony counts of indecent exposure with prior convictions in connection with the crimes that happened on Sept. 28 and Oct. 5.
He is held without bail after being arrested Tuesday following a three-week investigation, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Garcia was identified in bus surveillance video as the suspect who flashed women on at least four different occasions while riding the bus throughout north Orange County, sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun said.
She said the suspect would sit at the rear of the bus and expose himself to female passengers.
One of the women has been identified but asked to remain anonymous.
Garcia was on parole at the time of the crimes and is registered as a high-risk sex offender.
Court records show indecent exposure cases against Garcia dating back a decade.
Garcia entered into a plea deal in March 2015 involving a November 2014 indecent exposure case.
He also pleaded guilty in March 2015 to another case of indecent exposure, a felony, and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.
Misdemeanor counts of lewd conduct in a public place and loitering where children are present were dismissed. As part of the plea deal, Garcia has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
In October 2006, Garcia pleaded guilty to another indecent exposure on March 20 of that year and was sentenced to nine months of jail and five years probation.
He was found in violation of probation and sentenced to 45 days in jail in March 2011 and another 60 days in jail in January 2012, according to court records.
Braun said there may be more victims and asked them to come forward by calling investigators at (714) 265-4340 or (714) 647-7000.