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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 12:28 am | Fair 47º


SBCC Student Sentenced to Prison After Pleading Guilty to Rape, Sexual Battery

A Santa Barbara City College student was sentenced Thursday to three years in state prison after pleading guilty to rape and related charges that occurred in an apartment complex near campus last year.

Herbert Keith Wells Jr.

Herbert Keith Wells, 19, pleaded guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexual battery for two separate incidents, according to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

He will also be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, she said.

Both sexual assaults took place in the apartment complex where he lived in the 200 block of Oceano Avenue, Santa Barbara Police Sgt. Riley Harwood told Noozhawk at the time Wells was arrested. 

Wells, formerly of Long Beach, moved to Santa Barbara to attend SBCC in 2014, he said.

Investigators were concerned Wells may have victimized other women, Harwood said, and noted he was known to have spent time in Isla Vista.

During the first week of August 2014, Dudley said Wells allegedly sexually assaulted an adult female who lived in the same apartment complex as Wells.

The second sexual assault involved a different female victim and occurred Aug. 31, 2014, in the same complex, she said.

“Law enforcement officers learned of the first sexual assault after the second one was reported,” Dudley said.

One of the victims was a SBCC student and the other was not, prosecutor Von Nguyen said. 

The first victim spoke at Thursday’s sentencing hearing, expressing “her desire for Wells to get help rather than a lengthy incarceration,” Dudley said.

She said the sentence was a result of a negotiated plea with input from both victims.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff 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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