Santa Barbara – Just when you think you may have heard it all in terms of criminal sexual depravity, along comes a pair of Santa Barbara men—cousins—who, after a night of fishing off Stearn’s Wharf early in the pre-dawn morning of July 16th, concoct a plan to victimize an unspecified homeless woman…and then carry out that plan.
Such are the allegations of which Gabino Andres Grande Romero, 26, and Juan Carlos Herrera Romero, 30, stand accused. According to Santa Barbara Police Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Riley Harwood, it was almost 4:00 a.m. when a homeless woman staggered into the lobby of the Doubletree Resort hotel “and informed staff that she had just been sexually assaulted.”
Responding officers promptly investigated and within hours determined that the two men had been fishing and “discussed finding a homeless woman to sexually assault.” Shortly thereafter, both Romeros found a 62-year-old woman camping on the beach with a male companion whom they subdued at knifepoint while assaulting the female victim.
Based upon further investigation by the SBPD Crimes Against Persons Unit, less than 24 hours later detectives identified the two cousins, tracked Juan Romero to his place of work, and placed him under arrest. Six hours later, on July 17th, Gabino Romero was the subject of a traffic stop and was taken into custody.
Both cousins were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of rape in concert with another by force or violence, and oral copulation in concert with another, with their bail set at $250,000 each.
Photos: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking
Noozhawk: Two accused of raping homeless woman