Disney Princess, Bank Robbery Three-peat, Stabbing Top 2012 Crime News

A former Los Al mayor sentenced for DUI, a priest sentenced for molestation and a mother convicted of killing her child also marked 2012.

Bad things happen in even the most peaceful communities. 

In continuing our series of the top local headlines of 2012, we present

The Year in Crime

Click here to see the top 2012 business headlines and here for top 2012 traffic headlines.

Child Abuse

A Leisure World resident and former Catholic priest was sentenced to one year in jail and five years’ probation after he confessed to molesting an altar boy.

Bank Robbery

In July,  the second time since 2011, authorities said.

In September,


A former Los Alamitos mayor was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after her car hit a tree in May.

Though Catherine Ann Driscoll initially pleaded not guilty in August, in October she changed her plea, confessing to driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a blood alcohol level at 0.08 percent or higher. Driscoll was sentenced to three years’ probation and nine months in an alcohol treatment program in November.


In October, a Rossmoor jogger survived being stabbed multiple times as she was jogging near her home.

After an investigation, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies arrested James Anthony Rivas, an 18–year-old Rossmoor man, and charged him with a number of felonies including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

Rivas pled not guilty Nov. 5 and is due back in court in Jan. 17.

Acid Bombs

In December, a , in front of her home. Police are still searching for suspects, and the incident has brought to the forefront questions of whether the incident was a hate crime.

Officer-Involved Shooting

Also in December, a Garden Grove Police Officer shot an alleged carjacker in Seal Beach, according to authorities.

While GGPD has released the suspect's name and stated that a weapon was found at the scene,  

Wild Cats

Three African servals – wild animals that look like mini-cheetahs  -- got loose in Los Alamitos in December. The woman who allegedly kept them in her apartment was cited for violating California law, and the animals were taken to a sanctuary in San Bernardino.

Child Killer

After a mistrial in June, a Seal Beach woman was sentenced to 25 years in jail for killing her baby in December. Her husband, a Seal Beach Army Officer, was court-mailed and found guilty of child neglect in June.

Double Murder Fallout

In May, Daniel Wozniak  Wozniak pleaded not guilty in court in June. He faces the death penalty if convicted.

In November, Wozniak’s former fiancé was arrested on suspicion of lying to cover-up his alleged crimes.

Rachel Mae Buffet -- a 25-year-old actress, who played Princess Ariel at Disneyland and a princess at Medieval times -- was charged with three counts of accessory after the fact.

Her family and attorney said she was completely innocent of all charges.  And in early December she pleaded not guilty.

After Buffett spent about three weeks in jail, her family .

A judge later ruled there was enough evidence for Buffett to stand trial,

In a second arraignment in December, she repeated her not guilty plea.

We tried to capture some of the most important, odd or interesting crime-related news of 2012 in this wrap-up.

If we missed anything, please tell us in the comments below.


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