Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, December 19 , 2018, 12:14 am | Fair 45º

 
 
 
 

Court Hearing Set for Santa Barbara Man Accused of Abuse, Hate Crimes

Michael John Stinchfield, 55, has pleaded not guilty to 13 felonies after a November incident at his downtown home

A preliminary hearing date has been set for next month in the bizarre case of a Santa Barbara man who is accused of assault, sexual abuse and hate crimes.

Michael John Stinchfield, 55, pleaded not guilty to 13 felony charges in Superior Court in Santa Barbara last November.

Several weeks earlier, officers were dispatched to his home in the 1700 block of Garden Street just before 5 a.m. to a report of a disturbance in progress.

When they arrived, two women were seen running out of the house, one of whom was screaming, and both had visible injuries, according to Santa Barbara police Detective Michael Claytor.

The women told officers that Stinchfield attacked them with a bat, held them against their will for several hours and sexually assaulted them.

Stinchfield was taken into custody at the scene and later booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

A preliminary hearing is held before a judge, who will determine if there is enough evidence to merit a full trial.

The District Attorney’s Office has charged Stinchfield with assault with intent to commit rape, sexual battery by restraint, dissuading a witness by force or threat, criminal threats, false imprisonment by violence, and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury with a weapon, allegedly beating both women with a bat and one of them with a guitar strap.

The complaint charges Stinchfield with the same charges for each woman.

However, with the first victim, identified only as Jane Doe 1, Stinchfield faces special allegations of a hate crime based on the woman’s sexual orientation.

Stinchfield’s preliminary hearing will be held Feb. 26, and Deputy District Attorney Ben Ladinig said responding officers are likely to be called to the stand as witnesses.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.