Authorities recently arrested Joseph Michael Hyde, 63, on multiple charges of child molestation — involving five Santa Barbara County children between the ages of 2 and 14 — and showing pornography to a child. Hyde, a Santa Barbara resident, was booked into County Jail on $5 million bail on September 10. According to a UCSB spokesperson, Hyde worked for one of the university’s research centers from 2006-2012, when the center closed. A LinkedIn profile shows a man named Joseph Hyde had worked for the Center for Risk Studies and Safety since 2006 as an associate development engineer.
In July, officers with the Sheriff’s Office and the Santa Barbara Police Department started investigating reports that Hyde had abused children over many decades, not only in Santa Barbara County but also possibly in Oregon. Hoover said the department believes there could be additional victims, and anyone with further information is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at (805) 681-4150 or the Sheriff’s anonymous tip line at (805) 681-4171.