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Suspect Arrested for Sex Crimes that Targeted Elderly Victims

Goleta, Calif. – Sheriff’s Detectives, along with detectives from the Santa Barbara Police Department have arrested a suspect for alleged sex crimes that targeted elderly victims in a care home on S. Patterson Avenue in Goleta, as well as a second care facility in the City of Santa Barbara.

On January 5, 2021, Sheriff’s Detectives began investigating allegations of abuse that occurred between 2013 and 2020 at a care home in Goleta and learned that an additional offense occurred in Santa Barbara. Through their coordinated investigations, Sheriff’s and Police Detectives learned that 32-year-old Jared Ekola of Santa Barbara targeted two vulnerable patients at the care home where he was employed in Goleta and another victim at a care home in Santa Barbara. Ekola allegedly engaged in sex acts with the victims who were unable to consent, protect themselves, or report the abuse due to their physical and mental status.

Based on their investigations, detectives authored search and arrest warrants that were served at Ekola’s residence in the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara this evening. Ekola was booked at the Main Jail on felony charges including elder abuse, rape and other unlawful sexual acts. He is being held without bail.

This investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sheriff’s Detectives at (805)681-4150.  If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can provide information by calling our tip line at (805)681-4171 or online at

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