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A Los Angeles detective was assigned to investigate the rape of a 15-year-girl. After gaining her trust over the course of his yearlong investigation, he raped her himself.
The officer, Detective Neil David Kimball, pleaded guilty last week to unlawful sexual intercourse and a lewd act with a child. He'll also have to register as a sex offender and now faces three years in prison. The incident marked the third time Kimball's been accused of misconduct while on the job.
The 20-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department first met his 15-year-old victim in 2017 when the teen reported that she had been assaulted. Over the course of the investigation — which is proceeding under the purview of another officer — Kimball befriended the teen before sexually assaulting her in his trailer in the town of Camarillo, according to Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten.
The girl’s father reported Kimball’s assault to law enforcement nearly a year after it happened, and Kimball was arrested and charged for the rape in November 2018.
Kimball was originally charged with raping the girl while she was tied up and for intimidating a witness, but a spokesperson with the DA’s office said prosecutors couldn't prove the detective used force during the incident. Prosecutors then submitted an amended complaint complete with the charges he pleaded guilty to.
Kimball is scheduled to make his next appearance in Ventura County Superior Court on Aug. 8, when he will be sentenced. The sheriff’s department told The Independent that Kimball’s pay was suspended in March. The department also said it’s looking to terminate the detective from the department immediately.
The LA Sheriff's Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a sheriff’s department spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times that Kimball had been removed from the agency’s Special Victims Bureau prior to his arrest due to a complaint filed against him by a member of the public.
That had a domino effect and triggered an investigation into the detective’s conduct, which led to the discovery of similar harrowing stories from some of the victims he was assigned to investigate.
Not the first complaint
Back in 2009 Kimball was investigated for sexual battery for grabbing a woman’s hand and forcing her to touch his genitals while on duty, according to the Los Angeles Times. The charges were ultimately dropped.
Last month, a Los Angeles fashion designer by the name of Sara Abusheikh published a post on Medium describing how Kimball completely ignored her pleas to investigate her rape in 2014. In the post, Abusheikh said that Kimball coaxed her into making a “pretext phone call,” a practice that involves the victim calling their alleged rapist in hopes of getting evidence against him. Abusheikh said she followed Kimball’s instructions, only to have her case diminished by the detective.
She wrote in her Medium post: “Kimball called him ‘a nice guy’ and teased me about going back to him. 'You should let him make love to you gently,' he sneered. His only interest in the details of my rape came in the form of perverse, sick questions.”
Abusheikh said when she filed a restraining order against Kimball, he called the action “paranoid” and a side effect of smoking weed, in text messages reviewed by The Daily Beast. When she tried to file a report against Kimball with the district attorney’s office, Abusheikh said she was told she didn’t have enough evidence to back up her claim and that Kimball was “a fine detective,” according to her Medium post.
Cover image: (Getty Images/AntonioGuillem)