Alleged Bustamante Victims Set to Testify in Superior Court

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The alleged sexual assault victims of former county public works executive and Santa Ana Councilman Carlos Bustamante are scheduled to testify Monday in Orange County Superior Court.

In July 2012, Bustamante, was charged with 12 felonies and four misdemeanors — including false imprisonment, attempted sexual battery and stalking — for his alleged actions against women who worked under him at the county. The preliminary hearing will determine whether there’s enough evidence to move forward with a trial.

The case led to the ouster of several top county executives, as well as a grand jury report alleging that a “culture of harassment” had developed at the county.

In a memo to county workers last week, supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson sought to reassure employees that concrete steps have been taken to prevent harassment and abuse.

“Simply put, the environment under which Mr. Bustamante operated while he was employed here no longer exists,” Nelson wrote.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. in room C55 of the main county courthouse in Santa Ana.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

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