Salvador Vargas


A former Santa Barbara County Jail employee from Santa Maria who was facing two sex charges involving an inmate avoided trial by pleading guilty Monday, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Salvador Vargas, 36, pleaded guilty as charged to forcible oral copulation and sexual activity with an inmate, both felonies, District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Tuesday.

An investigation led by Sgt. Travis Henderson and Det. Ruben Esparza of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office revealed that between 2016 and 2018, Vargas took advantage of several inmates at Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was employed as a discharge planner.

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