Laguna Beach police Detective Julia Bowman and Corporal Jason Farris were among the public safety personnel honored by Irvine’s Crime Survivors Inc., an advocate and resource for crime victims and their families, last Saturday in Garden Grove.
The annual event awards public and private safety personnel for assisting and helping victims of crime.
Bowman was recognized for her work on a sexual assault case involving Laguna Niguel’s Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan, the manager-owner of a Laguna rug store, who ultimately entered not guilty pleas last October to accusations involving 11 different victims. Bowman was honored for her tenacity and ability to comfort and protect the victims. “Julia is an officer who always gives 110% and never forgets about the victims,” said prosecutor Jennifer Walker.
Maralan posted $1 million bail last Nov. 3. A preliminary hearing is set for May 11.
Crime Survivors honored Farris’ work with Laguna’s homeless population, though it has also earned him notoriety as a named plaintiff in a recent federal lawsuit challenging the legality of Laguna Beach’s policies involving homeless people.
Other police agencies have sent their own officers to Laguna to train with Farris. Recently, Farris and another Seal Beach officer started a county consortium of community services officers doing similar work, who intend to get together quarterly to share best practices.