October 28, 2011

Publisher arrested on suspicion of extorting sex offender’s family

10-28-2011 California:

The publisher of an Irvine-based Persian magazine has been arrested on suspicion of attempting to extort money from the family of an Orange County rug merchant accused of assaulting 11 women.

Javad Mostafavi, 70, was arrested last week on suspicion of extorting from the family of Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan, who is being held on $1.5 million bail in connection with the alleged assaults, police said.

Maralan's wife reported that Mostafavi threatened the family on several occasions, saying he would print Maralan's booking photo on the cover of his magazine, Payam-e-Ashena, if he wasn't paid $3,000, police said. The magazine publisher even emailed the wife a mock-up of the magazine with Maralan's photo on the cover, according to Lt. Jason Kravetz of the Long Beach Police Department.

Maralan, the manager of Sirous & Sons Rug Gallery in Laguna Beach, is a registered sex offender who has several sexual assault convictions in Los Angeles County, according to police and court records.

Several female customers reported that Maralan would lure them into the back of the store and then expose himself or attempt to fondle them or force himself onto them, police said. After initial reports of his arrest, several additional women came forward to accuse Maralan of various sexual assaults, police said.

Maralan faces a maximum sentence of 60 years to life in state prison if convicted, prosecutors said. ..Source.. by LA Times

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