A California councilman has been thrown behind bars for allegedly cornering female co-workers in his office and sexually assaulting them.
Carlos Bustamante is accused of sexually harassing seven different female subordinates on several occasions, groping them, exposing himself and making them watch him masturbate, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a press conference Tuesday.
“[Bustamante] rubbed his face against theirs, grabbed their breasts, touched their bare thighs,” Rackauckus described. “When they attempted to escape from the office, he cornered them to prevent them from leaving.”
The district attorney claims the married Santa Ana councilman targeted “emotionally vulnerable” employees and often lured them into his office under the pretense of work-related matters.
The 49-year-old reportedly "groomed his victims, wore them down...verbally badgered and mentally harassed" the women to the point that they were afraid to come forward.
The victims were allegedly hesitant to accuse the Santa Ana councilman because of his close ties to several influential members of the California Republican Party, including former Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger.
One victim described Bustamante as “mister, like, God kind of thing,” Rackaukus said.
Bustamante, who has been on the Santa Ana City Council since 2004, was arrested on the way to a council meeting Monday. He posted bail and was released the same night.
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