|For Immediate Release
Case # 11CF3116
November 18, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 12-YEAR-OLD GIRL BY REACHING INTO WINDOW AND VICTIMIZING TWO WOMEN IN SAME NEIGHBORHOOD
SANTA ANA – A man has been charged with victimizing two women and sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl who all lived on the same street in Santa Ana. Leonel Santana Cervantes, 43, Santa Ana, is charged with two felony counts of first degree residential burglary of an inhabited dwelling, one felony count of lewd acts on a child under 14, one misdemeanor count of peeking, and a sentencing enhancement allegation for committing lewd acts on a child in the commission of a residential burglary. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years to life in state prison. Cervantes is being held on $1 million bail and is scheduled for a continued arraignment Dec. 16, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
All of the victims in this case live on Minnie Street in Santa Ana. The defendant lives approximately a quarter of a mile away. None of the victims know the defendant or each other.
At approximately 12:15 a.m. on July 8, 2011, Cervantes is accused of climbing into an apartment through an open window. The defendant is accused of making noise as he walked through the apartment, causing 42-year-old resident Jane Doe #1 to notice that a stranger was in the home. The victim went to check on the noise and found the defendant, who is accused of then going into a bedroom, where Jane Doe #1’s 19-year-old daughter was sleeping. Two young boys, ages 6 and 8, were also asleep in the room.
Cervantes is accused of closing the door behind him and holding it closed while Jane Doe #1 struggled from the other side to get it open. When the victim finally got the bedroom door open, the defendant is accused of fleeing the scene through the front door of the apartment. Jane Doe #1 immediately reported the incident to the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD).
At approximately 4:45 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2011, 12-year-old Jane Doe #2 was sleeping in her bed, which was under the window in her bedroom. The window did not have a screen. Cervantes is accused of approaching the window and reaching him arm inside to sexually assault the victim. He is accused of rubbing the victim’s buttocks and back over her clothing. Jane Doe #2 woke up and screamed for her father and the defendant is accused of fleeing the scene. The victim’s father immediately reported the incident to SAPD.
At approximately 4:00 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2011, 31-year-old Jane Doe #3 arrived home from work and turned on her bedroom light. The victim’s bedroom window faces into an alley.
Cervantes is accused of standing in the alley and peering through Jane Doe #3’s window without her knowledge and watching her undress. The victim contacted SAPD.