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Border Agent Charged with Sexual Assault in Santa Ana

April 12, 2011

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has been charged with sexual assault in Santa Ana after a woman said he abused her inside his vehicle, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The defendant is suspected of assaulting the 20-year-old woman in November. He was arrested after his DNA was linked to a 2009 sexual assault in Long Beach. A Santa Ana criminal defense attorney should be called to handle these cases at the earliest possible stage -- even before criminal charges are filed. If a defendant has been approached by law enforcement, or has reason to believe he is under investigation, it's time to consult with an experienced defense attorney.
Felony convictions often require a defendant to submit a DNA sample to state and federal databases. The Combined DNA Indexing System (CODIS) continues to spit out matches years and sometimes decades after a crime.

The Mercury News reports the 29-year-old Fountain Valley defendant allegedly picked the woman up on a Santa Ana street and drove her to a cul de sac in Garden Grove, where he is accused of sexually assaulting her.

He is being held on $1 million bail.

A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection said the officer has been placed on administrative leave. The media did not report whether the defendant was on duty at the time of the alleged crime. More serious charges can result in cases in which a person of authority -- whether a coach, police officer of teacher -- uses that authority in the commission of a sex crime.

Those facing sex crime allegations should make no statements to police until speaking with an experienced defense attorney. Often, these cases hinge on the testimony of the defendant and the alleged victim. Any statement made to law enforcement may be used against you and may conflict with your ultimate defense strategy.

If you are facing charges involving a sex crime in Santa Ana, contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr. to discuss your rights. Through three decades of experienced, Attorney LaBarbera has argued over 200 criminal trials and appeals. Call (714) 541-9668 for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights.