Credit: Courtesy of Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department

[Update: Tue., Feb. 28, 2023] During his arraignment on Monday, February 27, Justin Obinna Asinobi pleaded not guilty to the 26 misdemeanor counts of unlawful electronic peeping. His case has been assigned for a settlement conference on March 8.

[Original Story] An Isla Vista man who was arrested last year for allegedly planting hidden recording devices in other people’s homes has been charged by the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office with 26 misdemeanor counts of unlawful electronic peeping. 

The 22-year-old defendant, Justin Obinna Asinobi, was initially arrested by Isla Vista Foot Patrol in February 2022, after a victim in Isla Vista reported finding a camera hidden inside a common object in the victim’s bathroom. Investigators then searched Asinobi’s home and seized numerous other recording devices hidden within objects such as air fresheners and chargers. He was booked on the charges of eavesdropping and invasion of privacy by secretly filming. 

However, the DA’s Office dropped the charges in the initial case against Asinobi in August 2022 to pursue a larger investigation into additional crimes he may have committed as detectives reviewed the footage from the cameras found in Asinobi’s home. 

All charges in the current case against Asinobi, who appeared in court on Wednesday, allegedly occurred on or between October 1, 2021, and February 15, 2022, the date of his initial arrest, according to the complaint filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court. 

“The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office conducted an almost yearlong investigation into the allegations,” said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian. “As a result of that investigation, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office charged Mr. Asinobi with allegedly placing hidden cameras in places where persons had a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Karapetian explained that after watching the recordings, law enforcement officers were able to identify 12 of the people depicted in the recordings, and although an additional 14 were visible, they have not been identified yet. According to the complaint, the different victims in the case include both men and women. 

Asinobi, a fourth-year student at UCSB at the time of his arrest in 2022, was well-known on campus through his position with the Commission on Disability Equality (CODE) for the Associated Students at UCSB and his popular Twitter account, where he was known as “mr.bitches.”  

Asinobi’s bail was set at $200,000, and he was ordered to stay out of Isla Vista, be subject to GPS monitoring, and not have any contact with the victims. The court continued arraignment to Friday, February 24, and a court date has been scheduled for March 14. 

Anyone who has information about the case can contact Detective Sosa with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at (805) 681-4100.


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