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Photographer Arrested on Child Porn, Molestation Charges

Zachary Warburg’s Alleged Victims Ranged in Age from 11 to 17

Zachary Warburg

Following a lengthy investigation, Santa Barbara freelance photographer Zachary Warburg was arrested Tuesday on 16 felony counts of child molestation and possession of child pornography.

According to Sheriff’s officials, the investigation into 28-year-old Warburg began when a School Resource Deputy assigned to San Marcos High School was notified by a student that Warburg was attempting inappropriate communications with her. The Resource Deputy soon uncovered several other instances of “suspicious, lewd, and suspected criminal behavior occurring between Warburg and minor female students at local area high schools and junior high schools, as well as out of the area,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press statement.

Detectives soon uncovered a pattern of behavior where Warburg would contact underage females either in person or through social media and either solicit sex acts or send explicit images. Search warrants also revealed Warburg was in possession of child pornography. The allegations against him include lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 14 years old, attempted sexual penetration with a foreign object, and attempting to dissuade a victim or witness. According to prosecutors, the victims ranged in age from 11-17 years old, and most of the offenses took place in spring 2018, though some occurred as far back as 2015.

As a photographer, Warburg was known for documenting breaking news incidents, including fires and car crashes. His work was frequently published by the online news site Noozhawk. He’s being held in County Jail on $1 million bail.

Sheriff’s detectives have interviewed numerous victims, but there may be others who have not been contacted. If you have any information about these allegations or have information that may lead to the discovery of other victims, you are urged to call the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau at (805) 681-4150.

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