The man who clambered under a Davidson Library cubicle last quarter to grope a male student has been detained on charges of sexual battery.
On Nov. 8, Ronald Anthony Ramos – a 52-year-old resident and registered sex offender of Ventura County – climbed under a student’s desk and fondled his genitals. In the moments after the unsolicited groin grope, Ramos successfully fled the scene and evaded a chair the victim hurled at him in the process. However, he did not escape unnoticed – Ramos was recorded by video surveillance cameras and spotted by several witnesses.
On Dec. 9, UCSB police arrested Ramos after an ongoing investigation of registered sex offenders in the area linked him to the incident.
UC Police Dept. Sgt. Matt Bowman said detectives relied on photo line-ups to single out Ramos.
“Several witnesses picked Ramos out in a photo lineup,” Bowman said. “By individuals identifying him from a six-pack of photographs we were able to eliminate quite a few possible suspects and ultimately arrest him.”
After pinpointing Ramos, campus police proceeded to schedule an interview with the suspect in Ventura. Ramos confessed to groping the student and was subsequently arrested and booked in Santa Barbara County Jail.
“[Ramos] confessed to UCSB detectives that he was grateful he was caught because he was fearful he would have done worse things in the future,” Bowman said. “He was a prior sex offender and we believe he had been continuing the behavior he was previously arrested for.”
Although Ramos has yet to receive his sentencing, Bowman said UCPD worked with Ramos’ probation officer to forward a recommendation to the court.
“We requested the Santa Barbara Deputy Attorney charge Ramos with sexual battery – the unlawful touching of another person in a sexual manner – and review both his probation and status as a registered sex offender,” Bowman said.
According to Bowman, the investigation and arrest of Ramos represent the ability of the sex offender databases to locate repeat offenders.
“This is a success for the registered sex offender program because Ramos acted inappropriately in earlier incidences and then came here and perpetuated the same kind of crime,” Bowman said. “Without this program in place the investigation would have been much more difficult to bring to a successful resolution.”