A male UCSB student studying in the Davidson Library earlier this month became the victim of unsolicited genital fondling.

University of California Police Dept. Sgt. Matt Bowman said the student was seated at a desk in the library when an older man climbed under the cubicle and subjected the student to an uninvited groin grope.

“A male UCSB student was studying in a desk on the second floor when he became aware of an older gentleman,” Bowman said. “Next, the victim felt something in his lap. He looked down and saw the older gentleman’s face under his desk and the man’s hand on his groin.”

Bowman said the student reacted immediately to the sexual contact, screaming and hurling furniture at the suspect before pursuing him into the parking lot.

“The victim jumped up, yelled at the suspect and threw a chair, but missed,” Bowman said. “He then chased the suspect out of the library into Parking Lot 3 where the suspect got into a silver vehicle and drove away. As he fled, the suspect was heard screaming ‘No!'”

Bowman speculated that the suspect had envisioned his groin grasp would elicit a more positive response from the student.

“I suspect the gentleman yelled ‘No’ as he fled because he was hoping the victim would be pleased by his actions and was then disappointed by the victim’s reaction,” Bowman said. “But that is strictly speculation.”

Immediately after the incident – at approximately 8:25 p.m. on Nov. 8 – the student contacted campus authorities to report the incident. The student described the victim as being between 45 and 60 years old, balding with grey hair that stuck up and wearing a green shirt and blue pants.

Bowman said campus authorities are actively seeking to locate and arrest the individual for sexual battery. The department is currently cooperating with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Dept. and considering several registered sex offenders in the area as part of their ongoing investigation, Bowman said.

“The reality is we have looked at a number of different individuals and detectives are continuing to vigorously pursue several leads,” Bowman said. “The library has still images from surveillance cameras and [the suspect] has been previously seen in the library and described as a regular, but this is not your average library-goer.”

UCPD encourages anyone who has any information that may aid in the investigation to contact campus police at (805) 893-7188.