ON THE RANCH

Dr. Fernando Cordero, a former county psychologist, was arrested for the second time Nov. 29, after a third and fourth victim came forward with allegations that he forced her into a sexual relationship.

 

“Detectives investigated the allegations for the fourth victim and ultimately obtained a warrant for Cordero’s arrest,” said Sheriff’s Public Information Officer Erik Raney. “In addition to these new allegations, Sheriff’s detectives learned through a credible witness that Dr. Cordero was planning to flee the country in an effort to avoid trial.”

 

Cordero is being held at the Santa Barbara County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

 

Cordero was first arrested on Nov. 9 after Sheriff’s detectives investigated allegations that the he had raped one woman and attempted to rape another, both of whom are former patients of his at the county Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Services.

 

Notwithstanding new charges, Cordero is facing eight felony counts, including attempted sodomy by use of duress under color of authority, sexual penetration by a foreign object and attempted sexual exploitation by a psychotherapist or drug counselor, to all of which he pleaded not guilty in a Santa Maria courtroom Nov. 21.

 

According to the felony complaint issued by the Superior Court, the doctor is accused of using a plastic penis to penetrate one of the victims.

 

The victims who have come forward claim that the doctor forced them into sexual relationships and threatened either to send them to jail or to help to deport them if they did not comply with his demands.

 

Cordero is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Jan. 3.

 

Sheriff’s detectives believe that Cordero targeted Hispanic victims who may have experienced past abuse or mental health issues or whose immigration status was undocumented.

 

Detectives continue to ask the public for help in the case and encourage anyone with information regarding the case or victims to call 805-934-6170.