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Santa Barbara Police Arrest Man Accused of Raping 14-Year-Old Girl

Victim says she met the suspect at a bus stop en route to a friend's house

Santa Barbara police have arrested a man on felony rape charges after a 14-year-old girl said the suspect attacked her after meeting her at a bus stop and agreeing to help her locate a friend’s downtown residence.

Rogaciano Rodriguez Mayo
Rogaciano Rodriguez Mayo

Sgt. Riley Harwood said the victim told detectives she had been kicked out of her house in Goleta after an argument with her parents in mid-May. She walked to a bus stop on Hollister Avenue, heading for her best friend’s home in downtown Santa Barbara.

Harwood said the victim apparently hadn’t taken a bus before, didn’t know the address of her friend’s home, and although she had a cell phone, she didn’t know her friend’s number.

According to police, the victim befriended the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Rogaciano Rodriguez Mayo, while waiting at the bus stop. Mayo agreed to help the victim locate her friend’s home.

Harwood said the pair rode the bus and exited on the 300 block of West Carrillo Street. They walked to Mayo’s home on Ruth Avenue, where, according to the victim, she was raped.

During that time, the victim received a phone call from her friend, according to police. She later returned the call and told her friend what had happened, and the friend advised the victim on a location at which they could meet. The victim told police that Mayo walked with her to the location and waited with her until her friend and her friend’s father arrived.

After a police investigation, detectives contacted Mayo on Wednesday evening at his workplace on Hollister Avenue, near the bus stop where he met the victim. According to Harwood, 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.

Mayo was arrested and booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on felony charges of rape by force or fear, rape of a victim under 16 years of age by a suspect 21 years of age or older, digital penetration of a victim under 16 years of age by a suspect over 21 years of age, and sexual battery while the victim is restrained. He was also booked on the misdemeanor of cruelty to a child. Bail was set at $100,000.

Harwood said the victim has been taken into protective custody by Santa Barbara County Child Welfare Services and is being assisted by advocates from the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson 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.

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