Man found guilty of child molestation
SANTA BARBARA — A Santa Barbara jury on Wednesday unanimously found a local man guilty of seven counts of child molestation committed against his two daughters.
The man, Howard W., 59, was arrested and prosecuted after his daughters spoke of their abuse to local school counselors, according to a news release from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office. The school counselors reported the abuse to Child Welfare Services, which spurred an investigation by Sgt. Matt Banks of the Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to the seven counts of child molestation, the jury also found to be true the special allegation that Mr. W. committed the child molestations against multiple victims, according to the news release.
“The heroic victims/survivors showed great courage in testifying and confronting their abuser in order to hold him accountable for her horrendous acts of molestation and child abuse,” District Attorney Joyce Dudley said in a statement after Wednesday’s jury decision.
The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Thomas R. Adams on Nov. 15 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 1 of the Santa Barbara Superior Court.
— Madison Hirneisen