Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
September 1, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
MECHANIC CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING FIVE WOMEN IN AUTO BODY SERVICE PIT UNDER GUISE OF SHOWING THEM NEEDED CAR REPAIRS
WESTMINSTER – An automobile mechanic was convicted yesterday of sexually assaulting five women in an auto repair service pit by luring the victims under the pretense of showing them needed repairs to their cars. Adrian Montano Fuerte, 39, Tustin, was found guilty by a jury yesterday, Aug. 31, 2009, of one felony count of forcible rape, one felony count of assault with the intent to commit rape, two misdemeanor counts of sexual battery, and one misdemeanor count of battery. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison at his sentencing on Oct. 6, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department W-9, West Justice Center, Westminster. The victims will have an opportunity to make victim impact statements at that time.
Fuerte, a car mechanic, worked at Econo Lube and Tune at Knott Street and Chapman Avenue in Garden Grove for three months. Between Oct. 30, 2007, and Dec. 15, 2007, Fuerte sexually assaulted five women, ranging in age from 18 to 60, by luring them into a dark service pit with no cameras under the guise of showing them repairs that needed to be performed on their cars. The sexual assaults included the forcible rape of Jane Doe #1 and the assault with the intent to commit rape against Jane Doe #2, whose ears he licked and bit as he held her by the waist and refused to let go. Fuerte sexually assaulted Jane Doe #3, Jane Doe #4, and Jane Doe #5 including pushing one against a wall, fondling the women’s breasts, and pushing his entire body against another.
Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 reported their attack to the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD), who investigated this case. Charges were filed by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) in December 2007 against Fuerte for the rape of Jane Doe #1 and assault with the intent to commit rape for Jane Doe #2. GGPD and OCDA alerted the media to this case. As a result of the media coverage, the three additional victims came forward.
During the trial, Jane Doe #2 testified that while Fuerte was sexually assaulting her, she was terrified to scream for help out of fear that, if Fuerte would assault her, his co-workers may enter the pit and do the same.
Fuerte had also worked for at least two additional Econo Lube and Tune locations, but the five known sexual assaults occurred at the Garden Grove Knott Street and Chapman Avenue location.
Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.