A Santa Ana jury found a 34-year-old man guilty of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman outside a Fullerton nightclub in 2015, after he pretended to be a police officer to lure the woman into a vehicle, the Orange District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
Nelson Mauricio Lunaty Garcia, of Chino Hills, was convicted of six felony sex crimes, including kidnapping to commit a sex offense, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by foreign object and force, and sodomy by force, the DA’s office said in a news release.
Garcia was also found guilty of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place and assault, both misdemeanors.
He faces a maximum sentence of 95 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced next month, the release stated.
On Sept. 2, 2015, Garcia approached a woman outside a nightclub in Fullerton called InCahoots, prosecutors said.
Pretending to be a police officer, he asked the woman if she had been drinking and gave her a fake sobriety test, prosecutors said, using a tongue compressor and a Q-Tip.
The woman believed him, thinking he was a police officer or security guard, and thought he was going to arrest her, the Fullerton Police Department said at the time.
Then, he forced the woman into the back seat of his vehicle, prosecutors said. He told her that he would release her if she cooperated, police said.
He bound the woman’s hands together with zip ties so she couldn’t escape, driving for several miles to a secluded location, prosecutors said.
There, he sexually assaulted her. After, Garcia took the victim back to the InCahoots parking lot, prosecutors said.
Garcia had approached another woman in the parking lot earlier that same evening, when she was sitting in her car alone, according to authorities.
When he approached the other woman, he also asked her if she had been drinking and offered her water and a police escort home, prosecutors said. The woman declined and drove away.
Investigators were able to track down Garcia later when two friends of the woman he assaulted had spotted his car in the InCahoots parking lot one week later, police said.
They had come to the nightclub to contact management about the assault when they saw the vehicle, which fit the description the victim had given, police said.
Fullerton police arrested Garcia at the scene along with a loaded gun, handcuffs, tongue depressors, Q-Tips and zip ties, including “cut zip ties on the rear floorboard of his vehicle,” the release stated.