LA County sheriff's sex crimes detective admits assaulting 15-year-old victim whose case he investigated

Neil David Kimball, 46, pleaded guilty to felony lewd act on a child and felony unlawful sexual intercourse and is expected to be sentenced to three years in jail


                            LA County sheriff's sex crimes detective admits assaulting 15-year-old victim whose case he investigated

A Los Angeles County sheriff's investigator assigned to handle sexual abuse crimes pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a minor whose case he was investigating. Neil David Kimball, 46, formerly a detective with the Special Victims Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl he met and befriended during a case, announced Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Kimball had worked cases in the Special Victims Bureau beginning 2013 and met the teen during the "scope of his work" in 2017 after she reported being a victim of sexual assault. Authorities said that, over the course of his investigation, he befriended her, gained her trust, and assaulted her in Camarillo. He then tried to intimidate the girl from reporting the incident.

But the crime came to light when Kimball was at a medical facility, away from the Special Victims Bureau. A colleague who had taken over some of his criminal investigations learned of the accusation against the 46-year-old after contacting some of the people involved in his cases. Kimball, a 20-year department veteran, was arrested in November after the department conducted a month-long internal criminal investigation into the allegations.

It then emerged that in 2009, a few years before he had joined the sex crimes unit, he had been investigated for sexual battery after a woman reported that he had grabbed her hand while he was on duty and tried to make her touch his genitals. He was not charged on that occasion.

However, following his arrest this time, Kimball was charged with forcible rape of the victim, including a special circumstance charges allegation that the victim was bound, and dissuading a witness by force or threat. He had pleaded not guilty. However, this past week, prosecutors filed amended charges and the 46-year-old pleaded guilty in Ventura County Superior Court to felony lewd act on a child and felony unlawful sexual intercourse.

He is scheduled to be sentenced in courtroom 12 of the Ventura County Superior Court at 9 a.m. August 8. He is expected to be sentenced to three years in prison as part of his plea agreement and must register as a sex offender.

The LA County Sheriff's Department said his pay had been suspended in March — he was initially relieved of duty with pay — and that they had obtained the court documents to proceed with his immediate termination.

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