Former rug merchant convicted of sexually assaulting 2 women in his California store

A former Laguna Beach rug merchant was convicted Monday, Nov. 6, of sexually assaulting two women in his store more than a decade ago.

An Orange County Superior Court jury found Saeid Maralan guilty of felony counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object related to both women, as well as felony counts of forcible rape and attempted forcible oral copulation related to one of the women.

The sexual assaults — which involved women who were trying to do business with Maralan at Sirous and Sons Rug Gallery — both took place in 2010.

Maralan was previously accused of sexually assaulting 11 women, but the case was pared back in the years between his arrest and the jury trial. Maralan — who ran a rug store in San Clemente — faces up to 15 years to life in prison.

After being free on bail with a GPS monitoring device during the trial, Maralan, now 65, was taken into custody immediately following the verdict.

Maralan denied that any sexual assaults took place.

He told the judge he wanted to immediately receive his sentence: “Just sentence me now, please — it is a life sentence, let me go.”

He apparently changed his mind after talking to his attorney and quietly accepted a Jan. 12 sentencing date.

Deputy District Attorney Tara Meath told jurors that the first victim went to the rug store with her mother to see if Maralan could sell some of their rugs to help pay for the mother’s health issues. As the mother waited elsewhere in the shop, the prosecutor said, Maralan took the adult daughter to a back room where he grabbed her, pulled her pants down and sexually assaulted her.

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