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Detectives Arrest Suspect for Sex Crimes- Additional Survivors Sought

Santa Barbara, Calif. –Detectives have arrested a Santa Barbara man for sex crimes and are encouraging additional survivors to reach out. On Thursday, February 1, 2024, at approximately 7:00 a.m., detectives from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Bureau arrested 21-year-old William James Trautwein Jr. at his residence in the 4200-block of Calle Real. Trautwein was arrested without incident and booked at the Main Jail on a warrant for felony violations including sexual assault, assault with great bodily injury, unlawful sex with a minor, and possession of child pornography. He is being held without bail. These violations involve multiple victims during 2022 and 2023.

This arrested was the culmination of a lengthy investigation that began in November 2022. Based on the investigation, Sheriff’s detectives believe there may be additional survivors of sexual assault by Trautwein who have not been identified. Detectives note that the primary means used by Trautwein to find and communicate with young women he targets has been through social media. The Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage anyone with knowledge of additional crimes associated with Trautwein, to please contact Detective Plett by phone at 805-681-4150. If you would like to be anonymous, you can submit information at or by calling 805-681-4171.

The Sheriff’s Office is aware that survivors of sexual assault and abuse are often reluctant to come forward for many different reasons. We have many resources available regardless of your decision to participate in a criminal investigation. 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.

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