Date: April 4, 2018
ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY EBRAHIM BAYTIEH PROMOTED TO SENIOR ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has announced the promotion of Assistant District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh to the position of senior assistant district attorney assigned to oversee Special Prosecutions, Sexual Assault, Homicide, and DNA.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh was born in Ghana and raised in Lebanon before immigrating to the United States at age 18. After speaking Arabic and French his entire youth, Baytieh learned English and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in finance from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) in 1992. He went on to earn a master of business administration degree from CSUF in 1995. Baytieh earned his juris doctor degree from Western State University in Fullerton in 1996, where he served as student body president during his last semester of law school. He lectured from 1997-2007 as an adjunct professor in the School of Business and Management at CSUF.
Baytieh joined the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) as a law clerk in 1996 before being hired as a deputy district attorney in 1997. He prosecuted misdemeanor and felony special assignment high-profile cases including public corruption and officer-involved shootings. He prosecuted gang cases in the OCDA’s TARGET/Gangs Unit from 2003 to 2005. Baytieh was promoted to senior deputy district attorney in 2006 and was a homicide prosecutor for nine years, maintaining a full caseload after being appointed Assistant Head of Court of the Homicide Unit in 2012. During his years in the Homicide and TARGET/Gangs Units, Baytieh tried over 50 murder defendants, resulting in convictions in all his murder cases and seven death penalty verdicts.
In 2014, Baytieh was promoted to assistant district attorney supervising the Special Prosecutions Unit, which prosecutes a wide range of high profile and sensitive cases relating to public corruption, police conduct, hate crimes, arson, election fraud, public records requests, and Grand Jury investigations. He has helped OCDA promote law enforcement accountability by facilitating the legal reviews for officer-involved shooting and custodial deaths and publicizing the results.
In 2015, Baytieh prosecuted the special circumstances murder case against a man who killed a 29-year-old woman in the course of sexually assaulting her in a Stanton motel room. Though she technically died of diabetic ketoacidosis soon after the assault, the California Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment of the Superior Court of Orange County for the conviction, establishing for the first time in California that the felony murder rule can be based on a defendant failing to perform a certain act – in this case, failing to call 911 – and not just based on doing a specific act.
In 2010, Baytieh was awarded the Sherwood Prize from the Anti-Defamation League for combating hate and prosecuting white supremacist gang members. In 2012, Baytieh was selected as the California District Attorneys’ Association’s Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year for the State of California. He has lectured on a wide range of topics to prosecutors and peace officers throughout California and the United States.
“Ebrahim is the first person to share credit with others, say thank you, and be a team player,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “His dogged intensity and work ethic make him formidable in the courtroom, and at the same time he truly wants to do justice and be fair.”
“I am humbled and honored that Mr. Rackauckas appointed me to this position,” stated Baytieh. “I am excited and eager to continue to contribute to the successes of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in ensuring public safety by affording victims and their families the dignity and the fairness they deserve, while holding criminal defendants justly accountable by providing them due process and fair treatment.”