Sex Crimes Detective Charged in Teen’s Rape

L.A. County sheriff's sex-crimes detective charged with raping, tying up girl in case he was investigating

Sex Crimes Detective Charged in Teen's Rape
Neil David Kimball. L.A. County sheriff's sex-crimes detective charged with raping, tying up girl in case..

An L.A. County Sheriff’s detective assigned to the sex crimes division is being charged himself with a sex crime. The detective, Neil David Kimball, is accused of raping and tying up a teen involved in a case he’s investigating. Kimball is also being charged with dissuading a witness by force or threat and trying to intimidate the girl from reporting the crime. Authorities say the charges include a special circumstance allegation that the victim was bound. Kimball is pleading not guilty to the charges.

The 45-year-old sex crimes detective made his first appearance Wednesday in a Ventura County courthouse. He could face 19 years to life in prison if convicted of the crimes, said Ventura County Chief Assistant Dist. Atty. Michael Schwartz. The 20-year-veteran of the department was arrested Friday culminating the end of a month-long investigation into the husband. On Saturday, he was suspended from the department with pay while the department’s internal criminal investigations bureau looked into a complaint about him by a member of the public. He is currently being held at the Ventura County Jail in lieu of $2M bail. He’s also had a protective order placed against him prohibiting his contact with the victim.

Prosecutors say the attack took place in November 2017 when Kimball had been at a medical facility, away from the special victims bureau. According to the LA Times, Kimball’s colleague picked up some of his investigations while he had been away at a medical facility when he learned about the allegation against the sex crimes detective. The Sheriff’s Department said Kimball’s alleged crimes occurred “during the scope of the employee’s assignment with the Department’s Special Victims Bureau.”

News of the detective’s arrest reverberated through the district attorney’s office causing a review of all cases involving Kimball.

Kimball was listed as a potential witness in 977 criminal cases, said Shiara Dávila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the office.

It is unclear how many of those cases involved sex crimes.

A spotlight has been cast on Kimball’s past due to the recent events. A few years before he joined the elite sex crimes unit in 2013, Kimball was investigated for sexual battery but was not charged with a crime. In that case, a woman told the Sheriff’s Department in February 2009 that Kimball grabbed her hand several months before and tried to make her touch his genitals while on duty. The shadow of sexual assault did not deter Kimball from being promoted to the Sheriff’s Department’s special victims bureau, which handles highly sensitive cases that can involve child victims.

“If there was a hint — a hint — of any type of sexual harassment or abuse, even if you may not have proof, why are you promoting that person to the sex-crimes unit?” said Patti Giggans, the chair of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission.

But it didn’t. His proclivity for defiling the underaged was masked by his costumed uniform and badge. Under the color of law, Kimball was allowed to engage in the very acts he was tasked to seek out and stop.

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