Man accused of soliciting minor
SANTA BARBARA — A Santa Barbara man was arrested earlier this month and is accused of soliciting a teenage girl to engage in sexual activity, authorities said.
On May 19, detectives with the Santa Barbara Police Department received information from the FBI regarding a cyber tip from a social media source about inappropriate or illegal messages between two users. Messages sent by Marcus David Toro, 40, were “flagged” and reported to the FBI by the social media source, according to authorities.
Detectives determined the teenager had not previously reported the crimes to law enforcement. The teenager was contacted and interviewed with their parents present. Police said Mr. Toro had tried to solicit sexual activity and made direct sexual advances towards the teen by offering money and the use of a local hotel room via social media.
Later that day, Mr. Toro was contacted and arrested on suspicion of communicating with a minor for sex acts and arranging a meeting with a minor for lew acts, both felonies. He is currently on parole and is being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail without bail.
An investigation is ongoing.
— Mitchell White
Bridge replacement to continue next week
BUELLTON — A project to widen the bridge and replace railing along Highway 101 near Buellton will continue next week.
The project, which will occur from south of the Nojoqui Creek bridge to south of the Santa Rosa Road overcrossing, will result in full overnight closures of Highway 101 next week. Overnight closures are set to begin from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Friday. Motorists can detour by exiting the 101 in both directions at Avenue of the Flags before returning to the highway.
Delays are not expected to exceed 10 minutes. Electronic message boards will be posted to inform the public about the closure.
In addition, one lane remains closed in each direction across the Nojoqui Creek bridge through December.
The contractor for the $5 million project is Spectrum Construction Group, of Irvine. The project is expected to be complete in May 2023.
— Mitchell White