Guard faces new charges

Marie Albu and Marie Albu

Kent Kafatia, the City College security officer recently charged with rape, has been accused in two new cases and is at Santa Barbara County jail with bail set at $1 million.
Kafatia is now facing seven charges in total including three counts of false imprisonment, two counts of criminal threats, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual battery.
The new charges were filed Nov. 24 when two more women came forward to identify him as their attacker after recognizing him in media reports following his arrest.
In one case a 22-year-old woman reported in December 2003 that she was attacked while walking in the City College parking lot facing Leadbetter Beach. According to City College Superintendent-President John Romo, administrators became aware of the situation when a campus security officer spoke with a crime scene investigator who was working in the parking lot.
Although City College security knew about the attack, Romo said he did not feel the college needed to take any follow-up action, which would include issuing a campus-wide security alert. “She originally reported her attacker was a Hispanic male,” said Romo. “There was nothing that led us to believe [the attacker] was a City College employee.”
Lt. Paul McCaffrey, public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department, said that the case was still under investigation at the time of Kafatia’s arrest.
“She had made a report in December. It was an unsolved case,” he said.
McCaffrey said the woman reported she was walking in the parking lot when a man driving a green pickup truck offered her a ride. When she declined the attacker grabbed her in a bear hug and forced her into the vehicle. He then threatened her and climbed on top of her, attempting to remove her clothing.
The woman reported she resisted, stabbing at him with a large hair clip. She escaped from the vehicle and hid in the bushes for an hour until she was sure the suspect had left the area.
McCaffrey said that police did check if Kafatia had any corresponding scars that would link him to the attack. “There were some injuries that were consistent with what was described,” he said.
The other case involves a 21-year-old woman who reported she was attacked Oct. 31 on campus. “The woman did not make a police report but spoke to her boyfriend and they had discussed what to do,” said McCaffrey.
After she made her report, police corroborated the woman’s statement with what she had told others about the attack. According to police reports, the woman said she was walking on a West Campus stairway when a man “detained her by forcibly grasping her arm” while asking personal questions.
After several minutes he let her go and followed her to Main Campus where a security truck was parked. She reported that she realized the man was connected to this vehicle.
“I expect after the preliminary trial the judge will give the okay to go to trial,” Joyce Dudley, Santa Barbara county senior deputy district attorney said.said. Dudley also said that she expects that the trial will begin sometime in early spring and she does plan to call the alleged victims as witnesses.
“I am very concerned that he get a fair trial,” she said. “I have talked to the people who know him who say this is not in his character. This is a very detailed and complicated trial and investigation. I hope people will keep an open mind without coming to conclusions.”