Sexual Assault Unit

About Sexual Assault Unit

The Sexual Assault Unit (“SAU”) of the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (“OCDA”) prosecutes defendants for felony violations involving the sexual assault of both minor victims and adult victims.

In addition, the SAU prosecutes defendants for possession of child pornography and for sexually predatory acts directed towards minor victims over the Internet.  The SAU is also responsible for seeking and maintaining civil commitments for persons considered to be Sexually Violent Predators (“SVPs”).  The SAU works in conjunction with a multi-disciplinary team composed of:

  • Forensic interviewers 
  • Social workers 
  • Medical staff
  • Law enforcement detectives 
    • As part of the Orange County Child Abuse Services Team (“CAST”) to assist child victims of sexual assault,  the assigned SAU prosecutor at CAST supervises the interviews of child sexual assault victims in a child-friendly environment and coordinates trainings for the various law enforcement agencies throughout Orange County on the topic of sexual assault.

Due to the serious and violent nature of sexual assault offenses, a large portion of the cases prosecuted by the SAU are “one strike” cases that carry mandatory life sentences in state prison.  The SAU is one of the most prolific trial units within the OCDA.  

In conjunction with local law authorities, the SAU has investigated and prosecuted cases involving religious leaders, teachers, doctors, lawyers, law enforcement officers and others who have used their positions of trust, authority and power to sexually assault minor and adult victims.  The OCDA believes those who hold positions of trust bear greater responsibility for their conduct and will continue to hold those individuals accountable for violations of that trust.  

The SAU also handles cold-hit DNA cases from the investigative stage once a notification is received from the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) or OCDA’s own DNA database.  Due to continuing scientific breakthroughs, the SAU handles an increasingly high volume of DNA cases and the SAU works closely with local police agencies and the Orange County Crime laboratory to review DNA evidence, locate victims and witnesses, and ascertain whether the existence of DNA enables us to solve and prosecute sexual assaults.  The SAU has worked hundreds of such cases in an effort to successfully prosecute suspects or in the alternative, utilize DNA evidence to determine whether an individual can be eliminated as a potential suspect.

Senate Bill 384 Information

Following the passage of S.B. 384, individuals who were convicted of a Penal Code 290-registrable offense will now fall into one of three tiers – 10-year requirement to register; 20-year requirement to register; or a lifetime requirement to register.  Registrants who were convicted and ordered to register for their lifetime prior to the passage of S.B. 384 may now petition the court for termination of registration if their conviction would have otherwise been a first (10-year) or second (20-year) tier, that time has now expired (see Penal Code Section 290(e)), and they have had their first birthday beyond July 1, 2021. 

For more information about S.B. 384, please refer to the California Department of Justice, at:

https://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/csor/registrant-faqs.pdf

California Department of Justice has created specific forms for these petitions.

Click here to locate the forms necessary to file a petition related to adult convictions.

Click here to locate the forms necessary to file a petition related to juvenile adjudications

 
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING PETITION:

Once the necessary forms are completed:

  • Serve the petition at the following locations: 
  • Orange County District Attorney’s Office: 300 N Flower Street, Santa Ana, CA 92703; “Attn: Sexual Assault Unit; SB384”;
  • Law Enforcement Agency where petitioner is currently registered;
  • If applicable: Prosecuting agency where conviction occurred if it was not in Orange County (for example, Los Angeles District Attorney, Riverside District Attorney); 
AND
  • If applicable: Law Enforcement Agency that did the initial investigation if different from the registering agency (for example, Orange Police Department if the original case happened in the city of Orange). 
  • File the completed forms, including proof of service (CT-271 and CT-274 or CR-415 and CR-416), and proof of current registration, at the Clerk’s Office in the courthouse jurisdiction in which the registrant lives:
  • Harbor Justice Center: 4601 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • West Justice Center: 8141 13th Street, Westminster, CA 92683
  • Central Justice Center: 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701
  • North Justice Center: 1275 North Berkeley Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832
  • Lamoreaux Justice Center: 341 The City Drive, South, Orange, CA 92868

For a list of cities and their corresponding courthouse, please visit:

https://www.occourts.org/media/pdf/court-designation-list.pdf

Petitioners will receive written notice of the Orange County District Attorney’s position to their petitions when the evaluation is complete.

Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs)

Since 2010, the OCDA has been proactively tracking notifications of release by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation of registered sex offenders who are scheduled to be released from prison in order to ensure that all qualifying defendants are evaluated by the Department of State Hospitals (“DSH”) for civil commitment as SVPs.  

  • A team of specialized SVP prosecutors and paralegals conduct in-depth reviews of all of the sexual assault convictions of the sexually violent defendants who are scheduled for release from prison and if appropriate. 
    • They provide with DSH with all of the relevant materials concerning the defendant’s criminal history and a recommendation that a particular defendant be referred to the OCDA to handle as an SVP.  
    • Once a referral is received by the OCDA, our SVP team initiates proceedings that will ultimately result in a trial to determine whether or not the defendant is legally considered as an SVP.  This trial requires a finding that a defendant has been diagnosed with a mental disorder and as a result of that disorder is found likely to re-offend in a sexual manner.  Such a finding after trial results in a defendant being civilly committed in a mental health facility. 

PANDA Program

Approximately 75 percent of the felony sexual assault cases prosecuted by the SAU involves child victims of sexual assault.  The OCDA continues to be on the forefront of supporting these vulnerable victims who are among the most sensitive victims in the criminal justice system.  

  • In partnership with the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“OCSPCA”), the PANDA Program was formed in 2016.  
  • The PANDA program supports child victims of sexual assault by providing teams of handlers and therapy dogs to be present during meetings between the child victims and the SAU prosecution team and their Victim Advocates from Waymakers.  
  • Since the inception in 2016, the PANDA program has provided immeasurable support to hundreds of child victims of sexual assault.

Sexual Assault Kit Iniciative ("SAKI")

691 SAKI Profiles Uploaded to CODIS
311 Successful CODIS Matches
6 Criminal Cases Filed

The Office of the Orange County District Attorney was awarded $1,864,651 in federal grant funds in October 2016, as part of the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (“SAKI”).  This project was created to address the issue of sexual assault kits that had not been submitted for testing by law enforcement agencies across the county and nation.  

  • The OCDA named the project “OC SAFE”, which stands for Orange County Sexual Assault Forensic Endeavor.  In 2018, the OCDA completed the initial inventory phase of the project where all sexual assault kits in the County were counted and identified as either tested or untested.  
  • Out of the 6,480 Orange County sexual assault kits inventoried through the OC SAFE program, 3,791 sexual assault kits were identified as being previously untested. Each of those cases were subsequently reviewed and a total of 1,705 were determined to be eligible to be tested by the Orange County Crime Lab Following that inventory, the untested kits were collected and sent for testing to ascertain whether DNA profiles can be obtained and utilized as part of the sexual assault investigation.    

As of July 2022, The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is proud to announce it has successfully cleared the 30-year countywide backlog of untested sexual assault kits, resulting in hundreds of new DNA profiles being uploaded to law enforcement databases and criminal charges being filed in six cold cases, including providing justice for a couple kidnapped at gunpoint 28 years ago by a man claiming to be a police officer.  Click here to see Press Release.

¹ This project was supported in part by Grant No. 2016-AK-BX-K003 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.  The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, The National Institute of Justice, The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office.  Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Recent Notable Cases

People v. Glen Thomas Kauffman  

This defendant was a former member of The University of California, Irvine Board of Directors and gained access to his victims through his work as a volunteer coach for his daughter’s softball team.  The defendant abused his position of trust with his 10 year old victims by luring them to his home where he was able to molest three vulnerable victims under the guise of having sleepovers with the defendant’s daughter.  Following the month-long trial, this defendant was sentenced to 170 years to Life in State Prison.  

People v. Nelson Eduardo Soloranzo-Garcia  

This defendant molested his 4 year old victim while caring for her while the victim’s mother was at work.  Due to the youth of the victim, it was very difficult for her to describe her sexual abuse and although spermatozoa were collected ruing the sexual assault examination of the young victim, the quantity was insufficient to provide a DNA profile of her assailant.  Other corroborative evidence was employed to convict this predatory defendant and he was subsequently sentenced to 40 years to Life in State Prison.

People v. Ulises Delatorre

This case involved a defendant who had a prior conviction for attempted murder and in this SAU case, the defendant brutally attacked 5 separate victims in the span of 5 hours, either brutally beating or stabbing many of his victims.  One victim was dragged to a secluded area and beaten while she was walking home from work when the defendant tried to remove her pants before fleeing the area.  The second victim was stabbed in her home when she walked into her room to find the defendant ransacking her house after having written sexual notes on her walls.  Two victims were attacked as they attempted to enter their motel room.  One of the victims was stabbed in the head while the defendant tried to drag the other victim away.  A 5th victim was attacked by the defendant as she was jogging.  DNA evidence corroborated that the defendant was present during these attacks, which combined with the testimony of the brave survivors of these violent sexual assaults, resulted in convictions against this violent defendant and the defendant was sentenced to over 69 years to Life in State Prison.

Resources

The Sexual Assault Unit has assigned Victim Witness Advocates who are Sexual Assault
Specialists who work for the Waymakers organization. They are often on the scene with the victims during forensic examinations. The advocates can orient victims to the criminal justice system, assist them throughout the court process up to and including sentencing, and then follow up with counseling and other support services by way of referrals for years after the crime was committed. 

  • The victim witness advocates are located on-site at the District Attorney’s Main Office, 401 Civic Center Dr. W., Santa Ana, CA 92701.

Waymakers operates a sexual assault victim service and prevention program that provides extended support services to victims of rape and child sexual abuse. 

  • The Rape Crisis Center is located in Santa Ana. 
    • Certified sexual assault counselors, working with law enforcement and the criminal justice system serve all of Orange County. Staff and volunteers respond to hospitals and police departments on request. Support groups for survivors of sexual assault are offered in English and Spanish.
Waymakers Phone Numbers:


Sexual Assault Victim Services for North Orange County:
(714) 834-4317

Sexual Assault Victim Services for South Orange County:
(949) 752-1971

24 Hour Rape Crisis Hotlines
(714) 957-2737
(949) 831-9110

SAKI Information for survivors of sexual assault or individuals interested in learning about the SAKI program and OC SAFE can be located at the attached link.

http://www.occl.ocgov.com/OCSAFE/Home