Leonel Santana Cervantes Pleads Guilty to Being the Minnie Street Creeper of Santa Ana

A man who got caught entering a 19-year-old woman's room without an invitation, watched from an alley while a 31-year-old woman undressed in her home, and reached in through a window and rubbed a sleeping 12-year-old girl's back and butt has been sentenced to 10 years and eight months in state prison, as well as a lifetime of sex-offender registration. Leonel Santana Cervantes, 44, committed these crimes in 2011, all in the 1000 block of Minnie Street in Santa Ana.

He lived about a quarter-mile away. Around 12:15 a.m. on July 8, 2011, he climbed into a Minnie Street apartment through an open window, making a noise that alarmed the then-42-year-old woman living there. Checking on the noise, she saw Cervantes go into the bedroom where her daughter, then 19, and boys, who were 6 and 8, slept. The man closed the door behind him and braced against it to hold off the mother pushing with all her might to pry the door open. When she finally busted in, Cervantes fled out the front door.

The then-12-year-old girl was sleeping in her bed under a window without a screen in the same neighborhood about 4:45 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2011, when Cervantes reached inside and rubbed her buttocks and back over her clothing. She screamed for her father, and Cervantes split.

Finally, around 4 a.m. Nov. 17, 2011, a woman who was 31 at the time came home from work to the same neighborhood, turned on her bedroom light and started undressing. Through a window facing an alley, she could see Cervantes looking back at her. She called police, and Cervates was found in the alley, hiding behind a Dumpster. He was later linked to the other pervy crimes, which had also been reported.

Leonel Santana Cervantes Accused of Creeping Out Females on Minnie Street in Santa Ana

He copped Tuesday to two felony counts of first-degree residential burglary of an inhabited dwelling, one felony count of lewd acts on a child under 14, and one misdemeanor count of peeking. Without the guilty plea, he was looking at up to 30 years in the can with a conviction.

Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >