A Santa Barbara man convicted of breaking into a neighbor’s house and raping her while she was asleep in bed faces seven years to life in prison when he is sentenced in April.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney John T. Savrnoch announced Friday that a jury on Thursday had found Virginio Gomez-Santillan, 49, guilty of assault with intent to commit rape or sexual penetration while committing a first-degree burglary, sexual penetration of an unconscious person and sexual battery.
According to prosecutors, the crime occurred in the early morning hours of July 22, 2021, when the victim, identified as Jane Doe, was asleep in her bed with her young child.
She woke up to the defendant — her neighbor — on top of her. While she was asleep, the defendant had broken into her house, pulled down her pajamas, climbed on top of her, and began to sexually assault her, prosecutors said.
The victim fought the defendant, and he eventually left her apartment, prosecutors said.
The Santa Barbara Police Department, led by Detective Adam Mik, conducted a thorough and extensive investigation, and placed the defendant under arrest. The prosecution team was led by Deputy District Attorney Lauren Franco.
According to District Attorney Savrnoch, “Jane Doe testified at the trial, where she exhibited extraordinary bravery.
“By reporting the crime, and testifying at trial, the jury was able to hold this defendant accountable for his actions,” he said.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 20 before Judge Pauline Maxwell.
Mr. Gomez-Santillan is currently in custody on $1 million bail.