The arraignment for Nancy Ramirez, a UCSB student accused of stealing two professors’ identities and using the information to alter her and other students’ grades, has been postponed until May 17 because her lawyer was not in court.
James Kreyger, the Santa Barbara County deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, said Ramirez, 21, is being charged with two felony counts of illegal access into a computer system and two felony counts of identity theft. The arraignment was postponed because Ramirez’s privately retained attorney, Nancy Dobrin, failed to attend Friday’s originally scheduled arraignment. Dobrin could not be reached for comment. Ramirez, a native of Los Angeles, is currently out of jail on $25,000 bail.
The UC Police Dept. arrested Ramirez on March 28 after she allegedly broke into the university’s computer grading system, eGrades, using the UCSBnetID and personal information of two professors. Police said Ramirez worked for the Goleta branch of the Allstate insurance company, where she had access to the personal information of two UCSB professors who were insured by the firm.
Ramirez used the personal information of the professors to reset their UCSBnetID passwords, police said. She is accused of changing her grade in one class from a B to an A, as well as altering her roommate’s grades from an F to a B+ in one class and from a B to an A+ in another class.
In addition to county criminal trial proceedings, Ramirez also awaits university disciplinary measures, said Joseph Navarro, associate dean of students for judicial affairs. He said the university is currently investigating the case.
Navarro said the Judicial Affairs Office might ask Ramirez to speak at a student conduct hearing. However, her lawyer may advise her not to say anything at the university hearing because any statements she made could be used against her in any criminal proceedings. It is unclear what punishment Ramirez could face from the university.
“We don’t get computer-related cases too often, but based on prior cases and the seriousness of the breech, [her actions] might warrant suspension or dismissal [from UCSB],” Navarro said.