Herbert Keith Wells will spend the next three years in state prison for sexually assaulting two women in 2014, the District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday. Wells, 19, recently pleaded guilty to one count of rape and one count of sexual battery and will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Last year, Wells moved to Santa Barbara from Long Beach to attend Santa Barbara City College. In August, he raped a woman who lived in the same apartment complex, on the 200 block of Oceano Avenue. Shortly after the first incident, he assaulted another resident of the apartment complex, whose report of the crime to police led authorities to learn of the first rape. After police contacted Wells — who had returned to Long Beach — he turned himself in.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, the first victim spoke at Thursday’s sentencing, and “she expressed her desire for Wells to get help rather than a lengthy incarceration.” She and the second woman worked with the lawyers to negotiate a plea deal in the case.