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Local News

Santa Barbara County Man Arrested on Charges of Sexual Child Abuse

Investigation leads sheriff's detectives to a 51-year-old man

Ernest Hernandez Madrigal
Ernest Hernandez Madrigal

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies have arrested a North County man suspected of sexual child abuse.

On Dec. 16, sheriff’s detectives were advised of a possible child sexual abuse crime that occurred in the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County commonly known as Tanglewood.

Detectives conducted an investigation and identified the suspect as 51-year-old Ernest Hernandez Madrigal, who they arrested on Thursday in the 1100 block of Cook Street in Santa Maria.

Madrigal was booked into the County Jail on charges of lewd and lascivious acts involving children, and preventing and dissuading a witness or victim from testifying by threats of force. Bail was set at $100,000.

Due to the nature of the crime and the age of the victim, no other details will be released.

Anyone with information about this or similar crimes is urged to call sheriff’s detectives at 805.681.4150 or the Sheriff’s Anonymous Tip Line at 805.681.4171.

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

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