Source: Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office
At 1:29 p.m. today, Sheriff’s detectives arrested 46-year-old Xiaodong Mei of Oxnard for sexual battery charges perpetrated at his massage business. Earlier this month, Sheriff’s detectives began investigating two independent reports of sexual assaults that occurred at Max Relax at 1108 Casitas Pass Road, in Casitas Plaza. The survivors in each of the incidents described similar crimes of sexual battery, with Mei as the suspect.
As part of the ongoing investigation, a detective posing as a customer visited the business today and was sexually assaulted in a similar manner to the previously reported assaults. Mei was arrested and booked at the Southern Branch Jail for charges including sexual battery and false imprisonment. Detectives requested a bail enhancement and Mei is now being held on $100,000 bail.
Detectives strongly believe there are additional survivors of sexual assault who have not yet been identified. The Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage anyone with knowledge of additional crimes associated with Mei or Max Relax in Carpinteria, to please contact Detective Cockrell at infoSIB@sbsheriff.org or by phone at 805-681-4175. If would like to be anonymous, you can submit information online at sbsheriff.org/home/anonymous-tip or by calling (805)681-4171.
Sheriff’s detectives coordinate closely with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Victim-Witness Program to ensure the needs of survivors are not overshadowed by the focus on the investigation and prosecution of the accused. Victim Advocates are available to ensure that survivors are kept informed and supported throughout the criminal justice process. Survivors have the option of contacting the Victim-Witness Assistance Program directly at 805-568-2400 or toll free at 855-840-3232.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind survivors that they can also find support services through our community partner, Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA). Services offered by STESA include a confidential 24-Hour hotline, legal and medical advocacy and accompaniment, and counseling. You can reach a STESA advocate at any time by calling (805) 564-3696.