The jury trial of former Orange County Public Works executive Carlos Bustamante on misdemeanor and felony charges that he sexually abused women who worked under him is set for Sept. 25 before Superior Court Judge John Conley.
Bustamante appeared in court Friday seeking to change a protective order that bars him from going to the Santa Ana Planning Department at 300 N. Flower St. so that he can access the first floor public counter for building plans and permits.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, three of the alleged victims access the building in the course of their work for the county.
So far, Bustamante has conducted his work over the phone and by sending PDF files over email.
Bustamante’s lawyer, Steven Young, told the judge that it has been impractical and “incredibly burdensome” for him to conduct business remotely.
Conley rejected Bustamante’s request.
Last month, Conley dismissed five felony counts against Bustamante, finding insufficient evidence to let those charges go to trial.
He still faces two felony counts of false imprisonment and single counts of stalking, attempted sexual battery and grand theft.
Deputy District Attorney Aleta Bryant estimated the trial would take 25 days, while Young says it should take only 10.
Conley ordered another pretrial hearing to determine details of the trial, such as the number of witnesses that will be called to testify, on Aug. 21.
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