Attorney sentenced to more than 100 years for Santa Barbara County rapes

Zachary Coughlin


A Santa Barbara County judge sentenced an attorney from Nevada who moved to the Isla Vista area in his “Mirror Bus” and repeatedly sexually assaulted women to more than 100 years.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies began investigating Zachary Coughlin, 44, when they became aware of his conduct involving young women in Isla Vista. Coughlin was living in a converted bus and making social media posts claiming he shared ideology with the involuntary celibate community and making references to the mass shooting that occurred in Isla Vista in 2014.

In May 2020, detectives arrested Coughlin for stalking. During Coughlin’s arrest, authorities towed his bus.

Detectives eventually discovered multiple videos that appeared to depict Coughlin having sexual intercourse with unconscious women. Additional sexual assault victims came forward over a span of several months. 

In July 2021, a Santa Barbara jury convicted Coughlin of all 14 charges he faced, including penetration of an unconscious or intoxicated person, forcible oral copulation, rape of an unconscious or intoxicated person and kidnapping with intent to commit rape. The jury also convicted Coughlin of aggravated kidnapping and other sexual offenses against multiple victims.

On Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office announced Coughlin was sentenced to 20 years in state prison, followed by an additional 125 years to life. District Attorney Joyce Dudley has described Coughlin as a rapist who preyed upon extremely vulnerable victims.

Coughlin was admitted to the Nevada State Bar in 2005. He is currently listed on the State Bar’s site as an inactive member who has not faced any disciplinary actions.