Two more Isla Vista rapes were reported last week, bringing the total number to seven since the start of Fall Quarter.
On Oct. 5, a female Santa Barbara City College student was picked up from a bus-stop bench in I.V. and forced into a vehicle, according to Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lt. Birchim. The victim was raped and then returned to the same bus stop, where she was pushed out of the car, Birchim said.
“This has also been written up as a kidnapping,” he said. “The victim had been drinking – this is all very disturbing.”
Another female, a UCSB student, reported an acquaintance rape in I.V. on Oct. 4.
“She met [the suspect] at a party,” Birchim said. “She was not able to give consent because of her physical state [of intoxication], and that is against the law.”
Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Abel said alcohol is often a factor in rape cases, especially in I.V.
“Almost every rape that occurs out here – alcohol is involved. The problem is the more alcohol you consume, the more vulnerable you become,” he said. “I can’t over-emphasize how important it is to stay together with a friend. Stay in lighted areas – this town has terrible street lighting.”
Abel encouraged females to report any unusual circumstances to the police.
“My personal advice is to try and contact [a police officer] – we’d like to make contact with [sexual predators],” he said.
Lt. Birchim said detectives are investigating both cases and have strong leads, but no arrests have been made.