A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputy who worked as a sex crimes investigator has been arrested on suspicion of rape by force involving a teen girl.
Neil Kimball, 45, was arrested Friday and was being held on $2 million bail, according to booking records. He was also accused of witness tampering.
Both allegations are felonies, authorities said.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement the tip that led to the arrest came from a member of the public. The accused deputy was placed on paid leave.
The criminal investigation began in October, law enforcement officials familiar with the case told NBC4. At the time Kimball was already off-duty for medical reasons.
The officials said the criminal case involves a girl who was 14 years old at the time of the incident in the fall of 2017.
Kimball was also facing an unrelated internal affairs investigation. The officials said a female deputy recently accused him of making unwanted sexual advances.
In 2009 the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office declined to file charges after a woman accused Kimball of sexual battery, according to a charge evaluation document.
The woman said Kimball had stopped her and some of her friends at a hotel in August, 2008. The DA's document said Kimball told the woman and her friends to get into a hot tub. Later, the woman said she found Kimball exposing himself and said the deputy groped her.
The DA's office said no other witnesses could corroborate the woman's story, so a prosecutor declined to file a sexual battery charge.
The Sheriff's Department said Monday it opened an investigation into the current matter as soon as it became aware of the alleged misconduct.
"The alleged conduct occurred during the scope of the employee’s assignment with the department's Special Victims Bureau. ICIB investigators determined that the alleged crime occurred in the County of Ventura and reached out to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office to assist them with the case."
It was not immediately clear whether Kimball has an attorney.
The Ventura County District Attorney's Office said it could not comment on the case until charges were filed, and said Kimball was not expected to make an initial appearance in court until next week.