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Posted by Samuel A. Wong | May 20, 2014 | 0 Comments


Criminal charges have been filed against former Santa Ana city councilman, Carlos Bustamante. The victim, who is only identified as “Jane Doe A,” alleged that Bustamante assaulted behind closed doors in the county office when she was his secretary. Bustamante was arrested and charged in July 2012.

Before and after the incident, Bustamante continuously harassed Jane Doe A. His actions included, but was not limited to, asking about her sex life with her partner, asking what bra size she wore, and describing inappropriate sexual dreams about her to her. The city councilman also asked Jane Doe A to have sex with him, but she refused. In reply he added, “we should have fun if we [will be] working together.”

The incident, itself, occurred in Bustamante's office. He wrapped his arms around her and forcibly kissed her neck though she continually attempted to push him off and adamantly said no to his requests. Bustamante, allegedly, refused to let her go and continued to kiss her neck and tried to kiss her lips, but she moved her face from side to side to avoid contact. Eventually he let her go.

Jane Doe A claimed she was too scared to tell Human Resources as Bustamante was good friends with the county's chief executive officer. Prosecutors believe that as many as seven female employees might also have been harassed and abused between 2003 and 2011.

Though this is a criminal matter, in any potential civil law suit against an employer for sexual harassment, there are two kinds of harassment that might occur. A hostile work environment is one kind, wherein if an employee refuses a supervisor's advances, then the supervisor retaliates against the employee or grow vindictive. The other form, entitled quid pro quo, describes a situation wherein an employee feels his or her job or benefits/perks of the job are contingent on acquiescing to the supervisor's advances. Both can be actionable in a civil lawsuit.

Source: LA Times

About the Author

Samuel A. Wong

Samuel A. Wong is a renowned Orange County trial lawyer and a Co-Founder of Aegis Law Firm. Mr. Wong has spent his entire career litigating employment related matters, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage, disability and medical leave cases. Mr. Wong is also an expert ...


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