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Rapist Arrested After Being Identified by DNA
updated: Nov 08, 2012, 7:36 PM


Raul Antonio Yescas, age 20, of Goleta was arrested for the crime of rape by force or fear. The incident occurred on the morning of April 14, 2011 and remained unsolved until October 2012 when Yescas was identified through DNA analysis conducted by the California Department of Justice.

On April 14, 2011 at 11:49 a.m., Santa Barbara Police Department Officers Jared Hall, Kody Cardana, and John Nelson responded to a call of a rape investigation at the Santa Barbara Amtrak Station on State Street. There they met the victim, a 20-year old woman, who had been visiting a friend at UCSB prior to the incident.

Their investigation revealed the following. At approximately 9:00 a.m. the victim was at a bus stop at UCSB, waiting to take a bus downtown in order to go to the Amtrak Station. At the bus stop she met Yescas and was befriended by him. The victim and Yescas took a bus to the MTD Transit Center at Chapala Street where Yescas convinced the victim to walk with him to the Amtrak Station rather than to transfer to another bus. The victim agreed, and the two began walking southbound on Chapala Street. While walking on Chapala Street the victim informed Yescas that she needed to use a restroom and he suggested that she use the one located at Paseo Nuevo Mall, which is located on the upper level of the mall near the management offices. They went to that location and the victim used the restroom while Yescas waited outside. After approximately three minutes Yescas entered the restroom, forcefully raped the victim, and then fled. Shocked and scared, the victim made her way to the Amtrak Station, calling a friend while en route who helped her contact the police.

Officers Hall, Cardana, and Nelson completed their rape investigation which included a forensic medical examination of the victim. Evidence collected in the examination was sent to the California Department of Justice Crime Lab for analysis. The victim was put in contact with an advocate from the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, and the case was assigned to SBPD Crimes Against Persons Detective Jose LaTorre for further investigation. Detective LaTorre ultimately exhausted all investigative leads and the case was placed on inactive status, unsolved.

Four months later, on August 30, 2011 at 12:35 a.m., Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Deputy Laurence Zepeda investigated a residential burglary that occurred on Ward Drive in Goleta. On September 15, 2011 SBSO Property Crimes Detective John Maxwell arrested Yescas, along with others, for the crime. As a result of that burglary arrest, Yescas was placed on probation. On January 18, 2012 Yescas's DNA was collected by the Santa Barbara County Probation Department and his DNA profile was entered into CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System.

On April 20, 2012 the SBPD Crimes Against Persons Unit was notified by the California Department of Justice that body fluid other than the victim's in the rape case had been detected among the evidence gathered and sent to the DOJ Crime Lab for analysis. With DNA analysis now a possibility in the investigation, the case was reactivated. Detective Crystal Bedolla gathered and submitted other DNA evidence at the request of the Crime Lab for comparison and elimination purposes. On October 16, 2012 the Crimes Against Persons Unit was notified by the DOJ that the DNA profile from evidence collected during the forensic medical examination in the rape investigation matched the DNA profile of a subject in the CODIS database. That subject was Raul Antonio Yescas.

With the suspect's identity now known, SBPD Crimes Against Persons Detective Charlie Katsapis further investigated and confirmed that Yescas was the subject that was with the victim on the bus and at the Transit Center just prior to the rape. On October 22, 2012 Detective Katsapis obtained a $100,000.00 arrest warrant for Yescas for the crime of rape. On November 7, 2012 at 1:15 p.m. Detective Katsapis and Detective Brian Larson arrested Yescas at the Santa Barbara County Probation Office on Hollister Avenue, where he had gone to meet his probation officer. Yescas was interviewed at the Santa Barbara Police Department and he initially denied ever having any contact with the victim. Upon being confronted with evidence to the contrary, however, including the DNA evidence, Yescas acknowledged that he had been with the victim at the time of the incident and admitted to having sex with her. He stated, however, that the sex was consensual.

Yescas was booked at the Santa Barbara County Jail for rape with a bail amount of $100,000.00.

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