The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office are investigating reports of alleged sexual abuse and misconduct by a former Cate School employee.
The investigation began April 1 after mandated reporters, outside of the Carpinteria school, spoke on behalf of multiple sexual assault survivors.
The complaints allege the abuse occurred while the suspect was employed at the private boarding and day school and took place on Cate School property. Several survivors are current and former students of the school.
The name of the suspect is withheld by investigators to guard the case’s integrity.
Sheriff’s detectives and investigators from the district attorney’s office served search warrants June 24 at the Cate School campus, located at 1960 Cate Mesa Road in Carpinteria.
The Cate School and its legal representatives are working with detectives to locate additional survivors and witnesses.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Sgt. Mark Valencia at 805-681-4150.
“We have many resources available regardless of your decision to participate in a criminal investigation,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a news release. “Sheriff’s detectives coordinate closely with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Victim-Witness Program to ensure the needs of survivors are not overshadowed by the focus on the investigation and prosecution of the accused.”
Survivors may also contact the Victim-Witness Assistance Program at 805-568-2400 or toll-free at 855-840-3232.
The Sheriff’s Office partners with Standing Together to End Sexual Assault, which provides a confidential 24-hour hotline, legal and medical advocacy, accompaniment and counseling. STESA advocates are available at 805-564-3696.
Cate School couldn’t be reached for comment despite the News-Press’ attempt for an interview or statement.