SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced to four years in county jail today for assaulting a female jogger while brandishing an imitation firearm. Sean Luke Salaber, 23, Riverside, was found guilty by a jury on Sept. 7, 2016, of one felony count of false imprisonment by menace, violence, fraud, or deceit, one misdemeanor count of brandishing an imitation firearm, one misdemeanor count of assault, and one misdemeanor count of battery.
At approximately 6:40 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2015, Salaber approached 23-year-old Jane Doe from behind and tackled her to the ground as she jogged on a trail near Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park in Laguna Niguel. The defendant held an imitation firearm to her head and groped her. Bystanders heard the victim scream, so they helped her by scaring her assailant off and calling 911.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) located and arrested the defendant within an hour in a residential neighborhood near Kite Hill Drive and Becard Drive. OCSD investigated this case.
At Salaber's sentencing today, Jane Doe delivered an emotional impact statement to the court pursuant to Marsy's Law. The victim stated in part, “He underestimated me. He saw a lean 5'7 woman and he saw someone he could dominate. Think again. I outwitted him at his own game. I felt his gun pressed against my head, and without a weapon, I fearlessly fought back anyway. I out-screamed him when he tried to cover my mouth. I drew the attention of the witnesses by refusing to believe that this was my fate. And better yet, I refused to buy into the idea that he wins today or ever. He chose the wrong girl … I will continue to use my strength to fight against evil like him.”
Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 15HF1112 / October 7, 2016