Two men held on suspicion of sexually assaulting homeless woman

Two men held on suspicion of sexually assaulting homeless woman

By James Barragan, Los Angeles Times

Two Santa Barbara men have been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 62-year-old homeless woman earlier in the week, police said Thursday.

Juan Carlos Herrera Romero, 30, and his cousin Gabino Andres Grande Romero, 26, were arrested on suspicion of rape in concert with another by force or violence. Juan Romero was also arrested on suspicion of oral copulation in concert with another.

According to a statement from Santa Barbara police, the two men spent Tuesday evening fishing and drinking at Stearns Wharf, a tourist attraction, where they talked about finding a homeless woman to sexually assault.

Hours later, police said, they found the victim camping on the beach with a 69-year-old male companion. Armed with a knife, police said, the cousins subdued the pair and took turns sexually assaulting the woman.

Police responded to a call early Wednesday from the nearby Doubletree Resort, where the woman had walked after the alleged assault. By Wednesday afternoon, police had identified Juan Romero as a suspect and arrested him. They later identified Gabino Romero as a second suspect and arrested him at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The two men were booked at Santa Barbara County Jail, each with a bail of $250,000.



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