A man accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in Santa Barbara last June has pleaded no contest to the charges, and will be sentenced to three years in state prison, according to Santa Barbara County prosecutors.
Rogaciano Rodriguez Mayo, who was 28 at the time of his arrest, met the victim at a bus stop in Goleta, according to authorities.
The victim, who had been kicked out of her home after an argument with her parents in mid-May, had walked to a bus stop on Hollister Avenue on the way to a friend’s house in downtown Santa Barbara, police Sgt. Riley Harwood said.
The victim told detectives that Mayo agreed to help her find her friend’s home, Harwood said.
The pair rode the bus and got off on the 300 block of West Carrillo Street. They then walked to Mayo’s home on Ruth Avenue where, according to the victim, she was raped.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman, who is prosecuting the case, said Mayo entered the no-contest plea to two felonies on Friday: felony assault with intent to commit rape — a violent and serious strike offense — and felony unlawful intercourse with a victim under 16.
A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but it is treated as a conviction.
Mayo has been in the Santa Barbara County Jail since being arrested last June, and he waived his time served as part of the plea, Waldman said.
His six months would have given him about nine months of credit toward his three-year sentence.
Mayo also will have to register as a sex offender and be deported to Mexico after he serves his time, Waldman said. He is scheduled to be formally sentenced March 27.
According to authorities, the victim told a friend what had happened, and then met up with the friend and friend’s father. Mayo reportedly walked with the victim to wait with her until the friend arrived.
After a police investigation, detectives contacted Mayo at his workplace on Hollister Avenue, near the bus stop where he met the victim. Harwood said detectives recognized Mayo from a description provided by the victim, including a prominent tattoo.
Harwood said Mayo was questioned at the scene and acknowledged having sex with the victim, allegedly knowing it was illegal. He told police in Spanish, “I get carried away,” according to Harwood.