Santa Barbara Sheriff’s detectives on Wednesday arrested 32-year-old Jared Ekola for allegedly sexually molesting three disabled patients at elder care homes. Two of the reported offenses occurred at the Goleta care facility where he worked, officials said. Another took place at a Santa Barbara nursing home.
“Ekola allegedly engaged in sex acts with the victims who were unable to consent, protect themselves, or report the abuse due to their physical and mental status,” a statement from the Sheriff’s Office says.
Detectives started investigating Ekola on January 5 after receiving information that the alleged abuse happened between 2013 and 2020, with additional incidents suspected.
“This investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sheriff’s detectives at (805) 681-4150,” the Sheriff’s Office said. “If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can provide information by calling our tip line at (805) 681-4171 or online at SBSheriff.org.”
Ekola has been booked in the main County Jail on felony charges of elder abuse, rape, and other unlawful sexual acts. He is being held without bail.