A wanted parolee is facing multiple felony charges stemming from what investigators described as the “vicious sexual assault” of a 7-year-old girl, Santa Barbara police reported Saturday evening.
Jesse Paul Martin, 40, of Santa Barbara, who was arrested earlier this month, was being held without bail on a previous warrant at Santa Barbara County Jail, said Sgt. Riley Harwood, a department spokesman.
Officers were called to a Westside residence the morning of Sept. 14 to investigate the alleged sexual assault of a child, Harwood said.
They quickly learned that Martin, the suspect, had an outstanding no-bail, felony warrant for violation of probation in an auto-theft case, Harwood said. Officers entered the residence and took Martin into custody, he said.
Subsequent investigation, including a forensic medical evaluation and an interview of the young girl by a psychologist, revealed that Martin had been dating the child’s mother for two weeks, and had been staying at her home.
The alleged assault occurred around midnight, when the victim and a younger sibling were present at the home, Harwood said.
Martin sent his girlfriend to the store, Harwood said, and while she was gone allegedly scratched the girl’s arm with a small power tool, and then sexually assaulted her.
“The victim thought she was going to die,” said Harwood, adding that Martin allegedly told the girl he would kill her if she told her mother.
When the victim’s mother returned home, she noticed that Martin’s demeanor had changed, and he appeared agitated and distraught, Harwood said. However, she felt this might have been because Martin recently had a friend die.
At approximately 4 a.m., Harwood said, Martin woke the victim’s mother, and revealed that he was a pedophile and sex offender and intimated that she needed to check on her children’s welfare.
She woke her children, and noticed that the 7-year-old had a facial injury, Harwood said.
The woman hastily left the residence with her children, and drove them to safety a short distance away. She then asked the girl what had happened, and the child confided to her mother that she had been sexually assaulted.
In addition to his warrant, Martin was booked on the following felonies: oral copulation by force, victim under 14 years of age; lewd act upon a child under 14 years of age, by force; sexual penetration with a foreign object (digital penetration) by force, victim under 14 years of age and with threat of future retaliation; and intimidation of a victim with force or threats.
He also faces misdemeanor charges of cruelty to a child and use of a controlled substances.
Bail for the latest charges was set at $100,000, Harwood said.