Felon in Sexual Assault Sentenced to Life

Assailant’s Jail Time Increased by Burglary Charge

On September 2, Felipe Martinez-Gallegos received a sentence of life in prison for the sexual assault of a 52-year-old German tourist staying at the Ala Mar Motel in January 2015. He had pled no contest to one count of assault with intent to commit rape during the commission of a residential burglary; the residential burglary charge, which also applies to temporary domiciles like motel rooms, raised the stakes to a life sentence, but with parole possible after seven years, explained prosecutor Mary Barron, a senior deputy district attorney. He had pled down from numerous charges, among them a count of forcible penetration with a foreign object — a digit, according to earlier reports — which would have extended the time before he could face the parole board.

Felipe Martinez Gallegos
Click to enlarge photo


Felipe Martinez Gallegos

Martinez-Gallegos had entered the woman’s motel room using a key he’d kept from a previous stay, and as she fought him off, the woman activated an emergency call button on her cell phone. Her assailant was soon found several blocks away. In a statement to the court, she said, “The pleasure of traveling on my own has been shattered and is clouded by an ever-present fear of something bad happening out of the blue.”

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Latinos Are Being Pushed Out of Santa Barbara in Droves

New census data shows their population has shrunk by 24 percent since 2011.

Police Suspend Public Sleeping Laws

The non-enforcement comes in response to a new court ruling.

Priest’s Firing Raises Questions

What's the real reason Father Gavancho was terminated from Our Lady of Sorrows?

1/9 Repeat? ‘Nobody Knows!’

A UCSB geologist says predictions are purely guesswork.

Posting Bail for Santa Barbara County’s Undocumented ICE Detainees

How Anahi Mendoza and a Santa Barbara County organization help win bail for residents in ICE detention ...