Santa Barbara – On the morning of April 14, 2011, Raul Antonio Yescas, who was at the time 19 years old, befriended a 20-year-old UCSB coed on the campus as she waited for the MTD bus. Subsequent events led to a police investigation revealing that Yescas accompanied her on the ride to the downtown bus depot where she intended to transfer to a city bus enroute to the Amtrak Station.
Once at the downtown bus terminal, however, according to Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, Yescas “convinced her to walk to the Amtrak Station” rather than waiting to transfer to another bus. While making the 10-block walk, the female stopped at the Paseo Nuevo Mall restroom to avail herself of its facilities. Yescas, who had indicated that he would wait for her outside the restroom, entered the restroom shortly thereafter, and as detailed in the subsequent investigation report, forcibly raped the young woman and then fled the scene.
The victim reported the rape to Santa Barbara Police Detectives, became the subject of a forensic medical examination, and was thereafter in contact with the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center as well as with investigating Detective Jose LaTorre.
Pursuing all possible leads and having only a description of his suspect, LaTorre eventually had no choice but to place the unsolved case on inactive status.
“But inactive does not mean forgotten,” Harwood noted.
Four months later, on August 30, 2011, as detailed by Harwood in his report to the media, “a residential burglary in Goleta resulted in the arrest of Yescas along with confederates,” ultimately putting him under the supervision of Santa Barbara Probation Department, who, in the normal course of their protocols, collected a DNA sample and submitted it into the Department of Justice Combined DNA Index System known as CODIS.
Almost a year to the day after the report of the Paseo Nuevo Mall rape, and pursuant to the forensic medical examination of the victim, the California Department of Justice reported that DNA other than that of the victim was detected in the samples collected. Another six months passed, whereupon the Department of Justice—matching DNA samples across their extensive database—reported to Detective LaTorre that they had matched evidence found on the rape victim with the DNA of Raul Yescas.
Yescas was contacted by detectives on November 7th when he made his weekly visit to the Santa Barbara County Probation Office, and when confronted with the irrefutable DNA evidence implicating him in the rape, he protested that the sexual contact back on April 14, 2011 had been consensual. He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of forcible rape with his bail set at $100,000.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
KSBY: Man Arrested for Rape, DNA Evidence Tied him to Case