SUMMERLAND — Acting on an arrest warrant issued last week, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s officers on Thursday apprehended Rodney Rognstad, 50, on charges of possessing child pornography.
Rognstad was reported to have been photographing women and children passersby during Santa Barbara’s State Street Fiesta event. He was identified by witnesses and subsequently observed by undercover police detectives during those public street festivities. Authorities then contacted him outside a retail establishment where it was determined that he was in possession of a digital camera attached to a laptop computer. Further investigation via a probable cause search of the laptop’s hard drive showed numerous photographic images of children performing various sexual acts.
Sheriff’s deputies contacted Rognstad in the parking lot of the U.S. Post Office in the center of Summerland, where he is purported to live a transient lifestyle on the community’s tranquil beaches. Just steps away from those beaches and the local coffee shops he frequented for wireless internet access and electrical charging of his various digital accessories, Rognstad was taken into custody without incident.
Rognstad is currently held in Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $250,000.