SANTA ANA – A Palmdale man was convicted Monday of misdemeanor assault and battery charges for smearing his semen on a co-worker’s computer keyboard and mouse, in her honey jar and in half-consumed bottles of water and lotion on her desk in the La Palma office they shared.
An Oct. 6 sentencing date is set for Stevens Millancastro, who was taken into custody immediately after being convicted of two counts of battery and three counts of assault by Orange County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Roberts, who decided the case without a jury.
Roberts also found that Millancastro committed the acts for sexual gratification or because of a sexual compulsion, which will require him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. It was the only dispute in the trial as the defendant admitted committing the acts, but maintained he did so out of revenge because the victim had complained about him to her bosses.
Michael Morrison of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office argued that his client’s “demeanor changed once this formal complaint was filed. It was only after (the complaints to the supervisors was made) that he did commit these acts… This is not someone doing it for sexual gratification. It was out of revenge.”
Deputy District Attorney Laila Nikaien countered that the “defense is splitting hairs.”
As to the argument that the attacks were made solely for revenge, “Are you kidding me?” the prosecutor said. “This is all part of one action. Pleasure for revenge overlaps.”
Nikaien said it was a “fetish” for the defendant and added, “He is sexually aroused by the victim eating his semen and drinking his semen… He is a deviant… It’s a form of having power over the victim, of humiliating them. That’s what a sex offender does. That’s what the defendant did… He did it once and got his jollies off and wanted to keep doing it.”
Roberts agreed, saying she found the victim “truthful” and the defendant “not credible.”
The judge also noted the defendant’s sexual harassment over time that triggered the complaint to human resources. The victim was uncomfortable “to the point she altered the way she dressed so he wouldn’t stare at her buttocks,” Roberts said.
“The aggressive staring, the domineering behavior continued throughout the days she was at that job after the formal complaint because the conduct did not stop the defendant. He escalated his behavior,” Roberts said.
“I do find it extremely relevant that on multiple occasions he ejaculated and infected her belongings. They were items for her to ingest, the water bottle three times, the honey she ate on a daily basis, the lotion she would put on her skin and items such as her computer and mouse that she would directly touch with her hand. This was not an isolated incident. And this didn’t happen one time or (on) one day.”
Roberts also noted that the defendant testified that after the first time he fouled the victim’s belongings, “his anger was not satisfied,” and said he did not need counseling.
“That makes someone very dangerous to the community,” she said, adding that the victim “hesitated to speak up for herself to complain formally because she knew the defendant and her boss were close friends and she thought there would be repercussions on her.”
The judge noted there were eight separate acts in late 2016 and early 2017 and said she took into consideration the sexual harassment, though it was not criminal.
“His anger grew out of control,” she said. “The evidence shows he can’t control his anger. That is a red flag to the court that he cannot control himself.”
Millancastro and the woman, whose name was not publicly revealed, had worked together since 2014, according to Nikaien, who said Millancastro “actually trained the victim.”
The woman testified that Millancastro started asking her out via an instant messaging system at work.
“He mentioned something about picking me up. I had no clue what he was talking about,” she testified. “He was basically asking me out to the movies. I said, no, I have a boyfriend.”
“Did he keep asking?” Nikaien asked.
“Yes,” the victim testified. “He would stare at me all day … in an uncomfortable way, a crazy way.”
Nikaien said the Millancastro “would check her out from head to toe. He would stare at her when she walked to a printer… when she walked to a filing cabinet near her desk… It got so bad… she would wear a sweater around her waist… to prevent him from looking at her.”
Ultimately, she “made an informal complaint to her boss,” the prosecutor said. “He was told to stop, but he kept staring at her. To the point, about a month later… the victim filed a formal complaint with HR for the defendant incessantly staring at her.”
A short time later in November 2016, she noticed a half-consumed bottle of water she had left on her desk looked “cloudy” and threw it away, Nikaien said.
“A week after that, she left another half-drunken bottle of water open on her desk and when she comes back to work again the next day, the water is cloudy and she’s suspicious so she throws it away,” Nikaien said. “A week later she finds another bottle of half-drunken water on her desk and this time she opens it up.”
The woman’s “boss then had a team set up a surveillance camera next to the victim’s desk,” and it captured the defendant after hours on Jan. 12, 2017, as he “grabbed some tissues and walked over to the bathroom…,: the prosecutor said. “He masturbates to arousal, he ejaculates… then what we see next on surveillance is he’s holding up the crumpled tissue walking right to the victim’s desk.”
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