Garden Grove man charged with attempted murder, sexual assault on 68-year-old woman


A 30-year-old Garden Grove man has been charged with attempted murder and attempted sexual assault on a 68-year-old woman who remains hospitalized in critical condition, the GGPD said in a news release Wednesday.

Michael Aon Varela is being held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 29, the Sept. 13 news release said.

The attack occurred early Sunday, Sept. 10, in the 13400 block of Balos Drive. Officers responded at 5:15 a.m. regarding a female down in the front yard of a home. A preliminary investigation revealed the woman had been the victim of a violent assault.

A male suspect was located at the scene and arrested. Later Sunday, the GGPD identified the suspect as Varela. Online jail records identify him as a 5-foot-8, 155-pound warehouse worker.

The investigation is ongoing and based on the nature of the crime, the victim’s identity is not being publicly released, the GGPD said.

Varela did not know the victim, said Lt. Carl Whitney of the GGPD. The woman lives in the neighborhood but not in the home she was found in front of, he said.