Salvador Vargas, 36, has pled guilty as charged to forced oral copulation and sexual activity with an inmate at the Santa Barbara County Jail. Both crimes are felonies.
District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley on Tuesday announced the plea.
An investigation led by Sgt. Travis Henderson and Detective Ruben Esparza with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department revealed that between 2016 and 2018, the defendant took advantage of several inmates at the Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was employed as a discharge planner. Several women accused the defendant of sexually assaulting them and providing favors to those who engaged in sexual activity with him, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
In August of 2017, the defendant transported a female inmate — Jane Doe — who had been released from jail on electronic monitoring, and into a residential treatment facility. During the transportation of Jane Doe, the defendant parked his vehicle.
While at this location in Santa Barbara, the defendant forced Jane Doe to orally copulate him, the District Attorney’s Office reported. Jane Doe, terrified that the defendant would send her back to jail if she did not comply, eventually gave into his demands.
Although Jane Doe told a friend partial details of what occurred, she never reported the sexual assault to law enforcement as she was afraid of what further repercussions she would suffer, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Investigative efforts on the part of detectives with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department eventually led them to Jane Doe, who ultimately told them what had occurred.