On Friday, May 31, Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced that, for the first time in the county’s history, an alleged sex offender will face a potential life sentence without the possibility of parole.

In March, The Santa Barbara Independent reported that Santos Javier Guevara-Oliva — a fugitive wanted for forcibly molesting and raping his 13-year-old stepdaughter — had been arrested in Hyasttsville, Maryland, where he was awaiting extradition to Santa Barbara. Now, he is back in S.B. and awaiting his arraignment.

Santos Guevara-Oliva

Guevara-Oliva had been wanted on a “no bail warrant” since February 1, when the DA’s Office filed a number of charges that implicated him in the assault on the young girl. He became the subject of a manhunt when he fled the area before Sheriff’s Investigators could bring him in for questioning.

With help from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, Sheriff’s detectives found out that Guevara-Oliva was actually a citizen of El Salvador. Deported from the United States in 2009 after being convicted of grand theft and false imprisonment, he then illegally re-entered the U.S. and settled in Carpinteria. After Guevara-Oliva disappeared from Santa Barbara County, Sheriff’s detectives began an extensive investigation and tracked him all the way to Hyattsville.

Guevara-Oliva is currently in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail, where he is being held without bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Monday, June 3, in the Figueroa Divison of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.


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