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DNA Leads to Arrest in 2012 Rape Case

Victim Kicked Out of Nightclub Then Lured Into Car


Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Peter Parra
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SBPD

Peter Parra

Santa Barbara resident Peter Parra was arrested May 14 for allegedly raping a 21-year-old UCSB student after she was kicked out of Tonic Nightclub for being too drunk. The incident occurred in June 2012, but the case went cold until a recently processed DNA sample led detectives to Parra.

On June 8, 2012, SBPD officers responded to a call of a rape investigation at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital, explained police spokesperson Sgt. Riley Harwood. The officers learned the victim had started drinking with friends at her home near UCSB before heading downtown and drinking more at Tonic. Bar staff eventually asked her to leave “due to her level of intoxication,” Harwood explained, and her companions arranged for another mutual friend to pick her up and take her home.

But as the victim waited for her ride on a bench outside the club, Parra, 35, convinced her to get into a nearby car driven by another man. They headed to Parra's home on the 1500 block of San Andres Street where the victim was raped, said Harwood. She was then driven to Isla Vista and dropped off. Later that morning she went to the hospital.

The officers forwarded the evidence collected during their rape investigation to the California Department of Justice Crime Lab for analysis, and the victim was put in touch with an advocate from the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center. A sergeant with the SBPD's Crimes Against Persons Unit took over the case but “ultimately exhausted all investigative leads and the case was placed on inactive status, unsolved, pending any results from the DOJ Crime Lab,” explained Harwood.

On April 24, the DOJ Crime Lab notified the SBPD that it had found a foreign DNA sample that matched Parra. Three weeks later, Parra was taken into custody and interviewed. While he initially denied having contact with the victim, he then acknowledged having sex with her, but claimed it was consensual. Parra was booked into County Jail for rape and his bail is set at $100,000.

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