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Local News

Suspect Arrested in Rape at Santa Barbara Motel

Felipe Martinez Gallegos was being held on $1 million bail in attack on German tourist

Felipe Martinez Gallegos

A 31-year-old man is facing multiple felony charges in connection with a rape that occurred at a beach-area motel over the weekend, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Felipe Martinez Gallegos of Santa Barbara was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $1 million, in connection with the attack that occurred on Saturday at the Ala Mar Motel, 102 W. Cabrillo Blvd., said Sgt. Riley Harwood.

The victim in the case is a 52-year-old female tourist from Germany, who was attacked early Saturday in her motel room, Harwood said.

Officers were called to the motel shortly after 6:30 a.m. on a report of a rape that had just occurred.

"The suspect, Gallegos, had fled the scene but was located by Officer April DeBlauw in the 200 block of Bath Street," Harwood said. "Gallegos was positively identified as the suspect in this case during an in-field show-up, and was subsequently arrested."

Gallegos was booked on suspicion of burglary, assault with the intent to commit rape, penetration with a foreign object (digital penetration), and dissuading a witness, Harwood said.

Investigation revealed that Gallegos had a key to the room where the crimes occurred that he had kept from a previous stay, Harwood said.

"Gallegos used the key to gain entry into the room, confronted the victim, and sexually assaulted her," Harwood said. "During the attack, he prevented her from using her cell phone to call for help. The victim physically resisted, and when it became apparent to Gallegos that others may have been alerted to the incident, he fled the scene."

The victim was assisted during the investigation by an advocate from the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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