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Lompoc police arrest man at homeless camp on suspicion of sexual assault

Posted at 3:54 PM, May 06, 2019

A man who was already wanted for an outstanding warrant was arrested on an additional charge of sexual assault on Monday, according to the Lompoc Police Department.

Police say officers detained Rufino Vargas, 63, as he was leaving a homeless camp in the Santa Ynez Riverbed on Monday morning.

While they were in the area, officers say other people at the camp told them Vargas had just sexually assaulted someone. Officers reportedly contacted the victim and a witness who police say confirmed the story.

Vargas was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and for the warrant.

Rufino Vargas


Police say officers were in the area to contact people who have started to illegally move back into the Santa Ynez Riverbed. In September 2018, nearly 70 people were evicted from homeless camps in the riverbed. Police have said they may arrest people found returning to the riverbed for trespassing.