An investigation by UC Santa Barbara police into accusations of rape resulted in felony charges against a 19-year-old UCSB student by the District Attorney’s Office on August 16. Arian Eteghaei, identified as a second-year pre-biology major by the Daily Nexus, was booked into County Jail and is currently out on bail.
Detectives and investigators for UCPD and the DA’s Office located three victims of alleged crimes committed this past June, and also last October or November. UCSB held nearly all classes online for most of that time due to the pandemic, and both on-campus and Isla Vista housing were less populated than normal. Investigators believe other victims or survivors and witnesses are among the community.
UCSB was aware of the charges but could not disclose student information, said spokesperson Shelly Leachman. It was possible that the student could be put on interim suspension as the university assessed safety and health for Eteghaie and the campus community, Leachman said.
“The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office is well aware that survivors of sexual assault and abuse are often reluctant to come forward for a variety of reasons,” District Attorney Joyce Dudley stated. Nonetheless, other victims and witnesses are asked to contact district attorney investigator Judith Hall at (805) 568-2360 to help the prosecution.
Dudley also noted that victim and witness advocates in her office provide support to ensure their needs are not overshadowed by the legal proceedings. Any victim or survivor can contact the Victim-Witness Assistance Program at (805) 568-2400 or (855) 840-3232.