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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 3:28 am | Fair 46º


Suspect Arrested for Lewd Acts May Be Linked to Several Incidents

More victims come forward after an undercover decoy operation

Detectives with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, who arrested a Carpinteria man for lewd acts after an undercover decoy operation, say they’ve linked the suspect to nearly 20 separate crimes.

Jorge Luis Ortiz
Jorge Luis Ortiz

Jorge Luis Ortiz, 22, was arrested Aug. 9 after a lewd act was committed in front of an undercover deputy.

Since that time, detectives have interviewed more than a dozen potential female victims who have identified Ortiz as the suspect accused of masturbating as they walked on the sidewalk in Carpinteria.

In one case, the man attacked one of his victims, who has now identified Ortiz as her attacker.

He was booked Aug. 10 into the Santa Barbara County Jail, where he is being held on a no-bail immigration hold.

Detectives are recommending that the district attorney file multiple charges of lewd acts in public, indecent exposure and sexual battery); all are misdemeanors.

Sheriff’s detectives are seeking anyone else who may have been victimized. Any information can be left anonymously on the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 805.681.4171, or call detectives at 805.684.4561.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.


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