Three Additional Women Come Forward in Rug Merchant Sex Abuse Case

via LA Times

More victims have come forward after Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan, a Laguna Beach rug merchant, was arrested on more charges of sexual misconduct, sexual battery, and indecent exposure in addition to previous charges of rape, attempted forcible rape, sexual penetration by a foreign object and distributing pornography to a minor.

The new charges of sexual battery and indecent exposure bring to 11 the number of women who allege they were assaulted or molested by Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan, 53, of Laguna Niguel. Maralan is a registered sex offender who had several earlier sexual assault convictions in Los Angeles County.

The new allegations date to 2007 and involve three unrelated women, ages 47 to 61, who say Maralan accosted them at his store. One of the women said he locked her up, exposed himself and tried to force her to fondle his genitals.

Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney’s office, said the women were too embarrassed or ashamed to report his conduct at the time. “But when they saw the other victims, they felt compelled to come forward and say what happened to them,” she said. LA Times, 21 Oct 2011

Maralan posted bail for the first set of charges, but was re-arrested and remains in custody. He faces a maxium of 60 years in prison if convicted.

Residents of Laguna Beach are outraged that investigators took almost 18 months to build a case against Maralan despited the original crimes being reported with 24 hours of each incident. Investigators insist they did all they could to build the cases against Maralan.

For complete coverage of the Maralan trial, please click here.