Investigators have discovered evidence indicating that the gang rape and beating of a 19-year-old woman over the weekend occurred on the UCSB campus rather than in Isla Vista, according to the UCSB Police Department.
The victim, a student at the university, reported being severely beaten and raped by multiple men sometime between 11 p.m. Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday, but wasn't sure where the attack occurred.
The suspects were described as a group of Asian men, according to police.
The attackers remained at large Wednesday evening, and the woman, who was seriously injured during the attack, has been released from the hospital.
The Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Search & Rescue Team was called out Tuesday afternoon to help search for evidence on the eastern edge of Isla Vista and on the UCSB campus in an effort to determine where the attack occurred.
The victim was last seen between midnight and 12:30 a.m. walking north on Embarcadero Del Mar, in the vicinity of Segovia Road.
On Wednesday afternoon, investigators said they found a personal item belonging to the victim, as well items that may belong to her attackers.
The items were found in what police are describing as a semi-secluded area on the edge of the UCSB campus, according to a statement from UCSB Police Sgt. Rob Romero.
As a result of Wednesday’s discovery, Romero said, the case has been transferred to the jurisdiction of the UCSB Police Department, which will continue to work closely with detectives from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department as they seek to identify and apprehend the suspects in the case.
Romero said UCSB has increased police patrols on campus and in the community, and will also be taking immediate steps to improve security by installing new lighting fixtures and additional security cameras on campus property.
In an email sent to UCSB students and staff earlier this week, Chancellor Henry Yang said that he has authorized an increase in the campus police force by five officers and increased security measures are under way.
"Our campus community has been deeply shaken by the violent sexual assault on a UCSB student on our campus this past weekend, as well as other recent sexual assaults that have been reported in Isla Vista," he wrote earlier in the email.
"These tragic incidents affect us all."
Anyone with information about the attack or suspects is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately, or leave an anonymous tip at 805.681.4171.