Convicted Child Molester to Spend Life in Prison
Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that on April 24, 2019, a Santa Barbara jury convicted 42 year-old Matthew Robert Torres of the following six counts: residential burglary, lewd act upon 7-year- old Jane Doe 1, and 5-year-old Jane Doe 2, forcible lewd act upon Jane Doe 1, and two counts of oral copulation of Jane Doe 1. The jury also found the charged special allegations to be true. Such allegations included that the defendant committed the above sex crimes during the commission of a residential burglary, and that this crime involved multiple victims of child molestation.
On July 23, 2016, around 4:00 a.m., the defendant broke into a studio apartment being rented by a family of tourists from the United Kingdom. The defendant immediately got into bed with Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2, and savagely molested them. The children’s father woke up, and kicked the defendant out of the apartment. When he realized what had happened to his children, he called 911.
Through outstanding investigative work by the Santa Barbara Police Department, led by Detective Douglas Klug, the defendant was identified and arrested within a few hours. The children underwent child forensic interviews and sexual assault examinations, and the defendant’s DNA was subsequently located on Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2.
District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley commended Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian and the family for their commitment to the case. “Jennifer Karapetian is an extraordinary prosecutor who zealously seeks truth and justice, but at the same time both helps to heal and empower her vulnerable victims. In this case, the young victims traveled back to the United States to testify in the defendant’s jury trial, where they had to face their molester in court. They were remarkably articulate, strong, and brave on the witness stand. Because of their courage and their parents’ support and love, the defendant will never be able to hurt another child again.”
On June 10, 2019, at 8:30 a.m., the defendant will be sentenced by the Honorable Judge Brian Hill, in Department 2 of the Santa Barbara Superior Court. At that time, it is expected the defendant will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.