Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 4:00 pm | Mostly Cloudy 72º


Local News


Former Santa Barbara City College Student Arrested on Rape Charge

A former Santa Barbara City College student suspected of raping of an 18-year-old woman in his Mesa home was arrested last month, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Kenechukwu Denzel Ugwueze, 18, who resides in Santa Barbara but is formerly of Corona, Calif., was arrested Sept. 11 at his home in the 1400 block of Pacific Avenue in Santa Barbara, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Ugwueze was arrested on a charge of rape by force, and Harwood said the victim in the case is an acquaintance of Ugwueze.

SBCC spokeswoman Joan Galvan confirmed that Ugwueze was enrolled as a SBCC student in the Fall 2015 semester, but is not currently enrolled.

“The college currently is investigating this incident and federal education privacy laws prohibit us from disclosing any further information until that investigation is completed,” she said.

The case came to law enforcement’s attention on Sept. 1 at 10:19 p.m., when officers responded to a location in Santa Barbara County to investigate a rape that had occurred earlier in the day within city limits, Harwood said.

“Upon arriving, they contacted the victim and arranged for a forensic medical examination to be performed, and put the victim in contact with an advocate from the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center,” Harwood said.

An investigation revealed that the suspect and victim were recent acquaintances, and that on the morning of Sept. 1, while both people were at Ugwueze’s Pacific Avenue residence, “the suspect forcibly raped the victim,” Harwood said.

On Sept. 11, a $100,000 warrant was obtained for Ugwueze, along with a search warrant for his residence.

At 7:10 p.m., police contact him at him home and he was taken into custody, Harwood said.

Ugwueze was arraigned in Santa Barbara Superior Court on Oct. 19, and will appear in court next on Nov. 2, according to prosecutor Von Nguyen of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

The case was first reported by The Channels, the student news organization at SBCC.

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 through Stripe below, 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
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

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.

  • 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.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >