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Santa Barbara man facing sexual assault charges following re-arrest

Zachary Coughlin.jpg
Posted at 4:05 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 19:05:53-04

A Santa Barbara man arrested earlier this year on suspicion of stalking a woman in Isla Vista is now facing new charges related to sexual assault.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says Zachary Coughlin, 44, was re-arrested last week after investigators found evidence they say linked him to potential sexual assaults.

Sheriff’s officials say detectives and an investigator assigned by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office began reviewing digital storage devices they say were in the suspect’s possession at the time of his initial arrest.

“Investigators discovered numerous photographic and video files that appeared to be potential sexual assaults by Coughlin upon several women,” according to a press release.

The sheriff’s office says the investigation led investigators to believe Coughlin sexually assaulted two women, who they say have been identified and contacted.

Coughlin, who was already in custody, was re-arrested Oct. 1 and now faces additional felony charges of sexual penetration, rape charges, oral copulation and kidnapping along with four other enhancements, according to the sheriff’s office.

Coughlin is now being held at Santa Barbara County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

The investigation is ongoing and officials say investigators continue working to identify any other potential victims or witnesses in connection with the case.

Anyone with information can email

The sheriff’s office says anyone who believes they are a victim or has information on a potential victim can contact Detective McGillivray at (805) 681-4175.

Anonymous tips can be made by calling (805)681-4171 or online at

Related: Santa Barbara man arrested on suspicion of stalking