Warning: this article contains graphic content.
As part of an ongoing investigation following the arrest of “mirror bus” driver Zachary Coughlin in Isla Vista in late May, the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office charged Coughlin with an additional 17 felony charges on Oct. 1.
Coughlin was already in custody at the time of his arrest and remains in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail on $1 million bail.
The 17 felony charges include seven charges of sexual penetration, six charges of rape, three charges of oral copulation, one charge of kidnapping and four enhancement allegations for the “serious and violent nature of the offenses,” according to an Oct. 7 press release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (SBSO).
Coughlin pled not guilty to all 17 charges and denied all four enhancements during his Oct. 2 arraignment.
Coughlin was originally arrested on May 19 in Isla Vista following numerous reports on social media about his concerning behavior, which included stalking — for which he was arrested — yelling at community members and making references to the 2014 I.V. tragedy on his social media accounts.
According to the press release, detectives from SBSO’s Special Investigations Bureau and an investigator assigned by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office are reviewing “numerous photographic and video files” from Coughlin’s personal media drives that were discovered following his arrest in May, which appeared to show “potential sexual assaults by Coughlin upon several women.”
“As a result of the further investigation, detectives believe that Coughlin has committed sexual assaults upon two women who have been identified and contacted,” according to the press release. Authorities are working to identify additional victims and witnesses.
The investigation is ongoing.