REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER CHARGED WITH VIOLATING SEX OFFENDER ORDINANCE BY ENTERING COSTA MESA PARK

For Immediate Release
Case # 12HM12700

October 15, 2012

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

 

 

REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER CHARGED WITH VIOLATING SEX OFFENDER ORDINANCE BY ENTERING COSTA MESA PARK

 

NEWPORT BEACH – A registered sex offender has been charged with violating a sex offender ordinance by entering a Costa Mesa park. Stephen Lee Austin, 25, Costa Mesa, is charged with one misdemeanor count of illegally being a sex offender in a city park. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail. Austin is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 17, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-8, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

 

Circumstances of Sex Offense Conviction

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on July 4, 2007, Austin was at a party at a home in Rubidoux, CA. While the rest of the party was outside the home, Austin swam alone with 11-year-old Jane Doe in the pool. Austin asked Jane Doe if she would like to play surgeon, pulled the bottom of Jane Doe’s bathing suit down until he exposed the victim’s vagina, and had her touch his erect penis with the back of her hands over his shorts. Jane Doe felt uncomfortable and got out of the pool. Austin then asked if she would enter his bedroom alone.

 

Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigated. On Dec. 10, 2007, Austin pleaded guilty to one felony count of lewd acts with a child under 14 years old and was sentenced to three years of formal probation and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.

 

Costa Mesa Case

On July 9, 2012, Austin is accused of signing a document of acknowledgment that prohibits him from entering County parks and parks in cities that have enacted a sex offender ordinance. The cities, including Costa Mesa, are listed by name. The defendant is accused of signing the document, which advises that entering a park or prohibited area may result in a probation violation.

 

On Sept. 11, 2012, the defendant is accused of sitting on the west deck of the Costa Mesa Historical Society located within Lions Park, which is a named park in the Costa Mesa Ordinance (see below), and receiving a citation from a park ranger who warned the defendant that it was illegal to sit or climb on a public building. At approximately midnight on Sept. 12, 2012, Austin is accused of illegally entering Lions Park and sleeping on the west deck of the Costa Mesa Historical Society. A Costa Mesa Police Department officer was called to the scene and arrested the defendant.

 

Costa Mesa City Ordinance

The Costa Mesa City Ordinance was passed by the Costa Mesa City Council on April 17, 2012, and is listed below:

 

ORDINANCE NO. 12-3