This week is a doozy, so buckle up …
Santa Ana police detectives on Friday released to the media the mugshot of a 29-year-old man and still and video images from the scene of an attempted rape they believe the suspect committed.
A 51-year-old Huntington Beach man was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting four girls he is related to ranging in age from 6 to 13.
A 49-year-old man pleaded guilty Thursday to sexually assaulting two girls in Santa Ana, beginning when they were 8 years old and continuing until they were 13.
A 48-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to sexually assaulting a 9-year-old female relative in Santa Ana—19 years ago.
A Lakewood teen turned himself in to police Saturday and allegedly confessed to molesting upwards of 50 children over the past eight years in different Southern California cities where he had lived, including Buena Park.
A 36-year-old registered sex offender from Anaheim was charged Tuesday with possession of child pornography—five years after he was prosecuted for the same crime.
A Las Vegas man and woman were charged Tuesday with trafficking and pimping a 16-year-old girl in Costa Mesa—and he is further accused of unlawful sex with the Utah teen.
A 24-year-old man was charged last Monday, Nov. 27, with raping a woman he was allegedly pimping in Orange County.
A 20-year-old walk-on wrestling coach at a Fullerton high school was arrested Friday for an alleged sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.
A Newport Beach physician had child pornography charges dismissed by the same federal judge who threw out much of the evidence against him months earlier due to “false and misleading statements” by an FBI agent.
Gildardo Cortez Martinez, the suspected would-be rapist being sought by the Santa Ana Police Department, was believed to be still in the Orange County area as of Friday, according to authorities. A 25-year-old woman was walking northbound on Broadway Street just after 3:34 a.m. on May 21 when she was pulled down the stairwell to the Copper Door, 225 N. Broadway St., and sexually assaulted, say police. Evidence collected at the scene point to Martinez having been there, officers add. He was further described as 5-foot-8,180 pounds with brown hair, brown eyes, a thin build, short black hair, a mustache and a medium complexion. Martinez has an outstanding warrant for driving under the influence, according to police. Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact Det. Majors 714.900.4174 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-O CCS. Perhaps the video below will help jog memories. (Watch to the end):
Martin Rodriguez Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15, when he could get more than 200 years to life in state prison for the sexual assaults of the four girls between November 1994 and March 2011, according to Orange County Deputy District Attorney Bobby Taghavi. The statute of limitations had run out for charges involving a fifth girl, but she still testified during the trial as a corroborating witness. Garcia knows his way around the courthouse: Jurors convicted him of lesser charges of assault with the intent to commit rape instead of rape in two previous cases, and he was acquitted on two counts dating back to the early 1990s.
Joseph Margo was immediately sentenced to 50 years in prison as part of a plea deal in the sexual assaults of two girls in Santa Ana that began in October 2008 and continued through November 2015. The deal had Margo copping to rape, sodomy of a minor, forcible oral copulation of a minor and continuous sexual abuse of a child, while eight other felony counts for sex crimes were dismissed.
Olegario Sigifredo Sorianosantos pleaded guilty to two felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor and two felony counts of forcible lewd acts on a child, and he was then sentenced to three years in state prison. The victim, who is now grown, came forward after keeping the abuse secret for many years because she saw Sorianosantos in her neighborhood and got scared. The assaults happened between 1998 and 2000.
Joseph Hayden Boston, 18, apparently turned himself in with a push from his mother. They had been talking on the phone recently when he allegedly told her he sexually assaulted two boys, ages 4 and 8, that he had befriended at a Simply Home Inn & Suites in the 9800 block of Magnolia Avenue in Riverside, according to police, who add the children had been allowed to go into Boston’s room by their parents who were also staying at the motel. Boston’s mother apparently spoke with police investigators, picked her son up from the motel and drove him to a Riverside police station, where he allegedly confessed to molestations not only in that city and Buena Park but Lakewood. He was arrested on suspicion of two counts of oral copulation on a child under the age of 10 and was being held in lieu of $1 million bail. But the investigation continues, and anyone with helpful information is asked to contact Riverside Police Detective Paul Miranda at 951.353.7945.
Santos Chris Hernandez was charged in April 2012 with possession of child pornography, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count for that and carrying a dirk or dagger and was ultimately sentenced to 120 days in jail, although repeated probation violations landed him back behind bars for different stints through September 2014. Recently, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alerted the Anaheim Police Department about suspicious Snapchat files, and further investigation revealed Hernandez was once again in possession of photos and video of child porn, according to Anaheim Police Sgt. Daron Wyatt. Hernandez was arrested Wednesday and charged with one felony count each of the sale or distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography with a prior conviction for the same crime, which he pleaded not guilty to at arraignment. Having been held on $100,000 bail, he is due back in court on Dec. 6.
Brandon Antwan Hunter and Danielle Deniese Bates, both 31 and from Las Vegas, 31, are accused of meeting the 16-year-old Utah girl in Sin City, bring her to a Costa Mesa motel and pimping her out, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Prosecutors add that Hunter also allegedly had unlawful sex with the minor. Her nightmare began in early November in Las Vegas, with the sex trafficking having happened between Nov. 20-24, the OCDA says. It was when Hunter and Bates got into a fight with one another at the Motel 6, 1441 Gisler Ave., Costa Mesa, that police became aware of them. (No surprise there for us nearby residents who frequently walk or drive past and often see lookouts watching the rooms and timing the sessions on their cell phones from the motel’s back parking lot. And yes, we HAVE reported this activity to police. Repeatedly.) Officers called to the motel are 6:40 a.m. Nov. 17 about the fight went to Hunter’s room and discovered the teen, who they identified as a possible victim of sex trafficking. Held on $1.025 million bail, Hunter was charged last Tuesday with felony human trafficking of a minor, pimping a minor, pandering a minor over 16 by procuring and unlawful sexual intercourse, which are counts the OCDA says could stick him in prison for 12 years and eight months. Bates, whose bail was set at $250,000, is looking at 12 years for all the same charges except the one related to unlawful sex with the girl. Jail records reveal Hunter listed his job as “producer,” and there is a hip-hop music producer based in Las Vegas with the same first and last name.
Patrick Balaman is the alleged pimp accused of attacking the 19-year-old woman he had been trafficking in Newport Beach and elsewhere in Orange County, Sgt. Wyatt of Anaheim PD. But Balaman pleaded not guilty after his Nov. 21 arrest to rape, sodomy, pimping, pandering, domestic violence, human trafficking and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. Held without bail, he is due back in court on Dec. 7.
Garrett Granger, a Fullerton resident who coached wrestling part time at Troy High School, was arrested after campus officials contacted police about a possible inappropriate relationship with a girl who attends Troy. A school employee had apparently seen Granger and the student in an area of the campus where they should not have been together, according to the Fullerton Police Department. Further investigation revealed the coach and girl had been involved in a sexual relationship for about two weeks, police say. He was booked into the Fullerton City Jail on suspicion of various sex crimes on Friday. Troy High School staff members and parents of students were notified of Granger’s arrest. But the investigation continues, and anyone with information is asked to contact Fullerton Police Detective L. Garcia at 714.738.6358. Anonymous tips can also be left with Orange County Crimestoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.
Dr. Mark Albert Rettenmaier is the Newport Beach-based gynecologic oncologist whose case my colleague R. Scott Moxley has written extensively about, leading to national coverage because FBI agents were notified of an alleged image of child pornography on the physician’s computer by Best Buy computer-repair technicians, a.k.a. the Geek Squad. U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney in Santa Ana on Nov. 20 granted a motion by federal prosecutors to dismiss the indictment against Rettenmaier, after having ruled in May that an FBI agent who wrote an affidavit in support of a search warrant for Rettenmaier’s home “made several false and misleading statements or admissions” with “reckless disregard for the truth.” Carney also found that the request for a warrant failed to note that the image found by the Geek Squad was in an area on the doctor’s computer where deleted files are kept, so he may not have been aware of it. That negated the evidence’s use during trial, so prosecutors prepared the motion to dismiss. Rettenmaier’s attorney reacted by saying his client, a cancer specialist who had been affiliated with Hoag Hospital, hopes to now get back to practicing medicine.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.