Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante's arraignment continued to July 26

Mark Rightmire/OC Register/Pool

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, left, spoke in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Thursday morning during the arraignment proceedings of Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante, right. Bustamante appeared with his attorney James Riddet, center, for arraignment on sexual assault charges involving seven women. The arraignment was continued until July 26.

Mark Rightmire/OC Register/Pool

James Riddet, left, attorney for Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante, right, spoke in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Thursday morning, during Bustamante's arraignment on sexual assault charges involving seven women. The arraignment was continued until July 26.

Mark Rightmire/OC Register/Pool

Senior Deputy District Attorney Aleta Bryant spoke in in Superior Court of Orange County in Santa Ana, during the arraignment proceedings of Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante, Thursday morning. Standing behind her are Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder. The arraignment was continued until July 26.

Mark Rightmire/OC Register/Pool

Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante appeared for an arraignment in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, Thursday morning, on sexual assault charges involving seven women. The arraignment was continued until July 26.


The arraignment of Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante on sexual assault charges was continued to July 26.

Santa Ana Superior Court Judge Gerald Johnston granted the request of Bustamante attorney James Riddet to move the arraignment, but Riddet was turned down in his efforts to have a gag order issued.

Riddet also argued unsuccessfully against the district attorney's request to issue protective orders for the alleged seven victims of Bustamante. The judge said the names of the victims will be sealed.

Bustamante is charged with multiple felony counts of sexually assaulting seven women. The district attorney said the assaults happened between 2003 and 2011, when Bustamante worked for the Orange County Public Works Department.

Orange County DA Tony Rackauckas said the women allegedly assaulted all worked for Bustamante. The 47-year-old Bustamante says he’s innocent.

In all, the DA filed 16 felony counts against Bustamante, including six felony counts of false imprisonment and a felony charge of grand theft for allegedly misusing public funds while working as an administrator with the county's pubic works department. He was also charged with several misdemeanor counts.

Bustamante's attorney Riddet also told the media at a news conference after the court appearance that he would not answer reporters' questions about the case. He admonished DA Rackauckas for releasing "lurid details" of the case at a news conference earlier this week.

But Judge Johnston said he did not believe the actions of the DA will prejudice Bustamante's case.

Correction: Earlier versions of this story had lawyer James Riddet's last name wrong and misstated when the news conference was.

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