Neff on Trial Again for Ketamine Encounters Injected Victims with Knock-Out Drug

By chillinwill · Oct 3, 2009 · ·
  1. chillinwill
    For the second time in as many years—after a mistrial was declared earlier this year—Steven Neff is back in front of a Santa Barbara jury, facing allegations that he would inject women with the high-powered drug Ketamine and then proceed to assault some of them sexually.

    Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen told the jury during opening statements last Thursday, September 24, that Neff had a history of injecting women—including his girlfriend—with Ketamine.

    The most gruesome allegation comes from a former co-worker of Neff’s. She said that in 2002 she was with Neff at his home, and after drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with her, Neff injected something into her neck. She lost her ability to function, according to Zonen, but was in a state of “partial consciousness.” The former co-worker believes that Neff at one point inserted an enema into her and she lost control of her bowels. After that, according to the alleged victim, she felt him smearing something on her face and saw him smearing something on his face, and she believed it was her own excrement.

    Though “very mindful something was wrong,” Zonen said, she couldn’t recall what had happened until days later, prompted by a dream. In his opening statements, defense attorney Michael Hanley seized primarily upon this alleged victim’s statements, suggesting she had taken a lot of drugs and alcohol, didn’t remember what happened, and was inconsistent in her reports to authorities about what had happened. He also was methodically combing through her testimony on the stand Wednesday.

    Another of Neff’s accusers, now 27 years old and living in San Francisco, testified Thursday that she was running on Haskell’s Beach in Goleta one day in 2002, when she passed a man who was also running. A few minutes later, she said, she heard footsteps getting closer and closer, and eventually felt someone bear hug her from behind. Her first thought, she said, was that it was a friend, but she quickly realized it was not. She struggled with her attacker for a time, trying to hit him with a rock. All of a sudden, she felt a prick in her neck like she had been bitten by a bug. Her attacker released her eventually, and she started to run. She did not see anyone else on the beach. Suddenly, she testified, “It started to become difficult for me to run.” In her mind, she testified, she had the image of a syringe in her attacker’s hand, though she wasn’t sure that was the case. But, she said, she knew that “something is in my system, and something is happening.”

    She then blacked out, she said, eventually coming to for small periods of time, but slipping back out of consciousness. Her memory of the next several hours is hazy at best. “I’ve been trying for years to remember things that happened that day,” she said.

    Zonen, in his opening statement, said that Neff’s sperm would be found on the woman’s running pants, and a nurse testified Monday that the victim had abrasions on her genitalia. In court papers, Zonen argued there was “sufficient evidence of a strong suspicion that that the defendant achieved at least a slight penetration.” Ketamine would be found in her system via a urine test.

    But on cross-examination, the woman said she never knew for sure if she had been sexually assaulted, and that no one had told her one way or another. She did wake up fully clothed, she said. “She had been reduced to a state of complete unconsciousness by a drug designed to bring down a horse,” Zonen wrote. “She would not have remembered surgery during that time, never mind vaginal penetration.”

    Hanley said that the fact that the victim was “attacked very fiercely at the beach” by Neff was not in dispute. But, he said, nothing suggested that Neff, now 41, had penetrated—or attempted to penetrate—the victim. The irritation on her genitalia, he said, could be caused by numerous factors, including the large amounts of sand found in the victim’s clothes after the struggle. The evidence showed, he said, that clothing was not removed. Additionally, she knew what intercourse felt like but did not report feeling that, nor did she report feeling any pain.

    In November 2008, a jury found Neff guilty on the same charges he is facing this time around related to these two alleged attacks, but only after new instructions were offered to the jury five days into their deliberations. Neff had been facing more serious felony charges of unlawful penetration with a foreign object, and the 12 couldn’t come to a conclusion. What hadn’t been explained to them was that they could still find him guilty of a lesser offense of attempted unlawful penetration. After hearing these instructions, it took the jury only a few hours to find Neff guilty of attempted unlawful penetration, with additional enhancements because syringes with Ketamine was used.

    The new instructions, according to Zonen in court papers, were not offered prior to the commencement of deliberations because of the “mistaken belief that the lesser offenses were time-barred,” as the crimes were alleged to have been committed five years prior to trial. Hanley filed for a mistrial, arguing that the late instructions may have suggested to the jury that Judge Rick Brown had a desire to convict the defendant on those grounds.

    Neff was also accused of two other attacks on women using Ketamine in 2002, one on East Beach and one in Mammoth. He was not prosecuted for those crimes, as the statute of limitations for the provable elements of the crimes had expired by the time he was connected to them. One of the reported attacks occurred In November 2002, in Mammoth: A woman was skiing on a quiet and mostly empty downhill run when she was knocked down by a snowboarder from behind. The man pinned her down, she told authorities, and she felt a prick and knew she had been injected. She screamed at the man, demanding to know what she had been poked with, and he said it was a Swiss Army wristwatch. But she saw a syringe in the snow, and screamed for help before passing out. According to reports, the victim nearly died of respiratory and cardiac failure because of the amount of Ketamine injected in her relative to her body weight. A glove left behind had DNA in it, but it wasn’t until 2006 that a match was made with Neff.

    Neff also was arrested after a 2004 incident at Hendry’s Beach, where three teenage girls saw a man videotaping them. Eventually the man came up to one, grabbed her bikini bottom and ripped it down. Neff eventually pleaded no contest to resisting an officer and disorderly conduct for engaging in a lewd or dissolute act in public.

    By Chris Meagher
    October 1, 2009

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  1. EscapeDummy
    Jesus... this guy is really fucked up. How long can they put him away for? I hope this get gets off the streets for good. What a freak, this is truly sickening.
  2. ninjaned
    good god. what a sick man. there's no other word for it, he's sick. there must be something wrong with him, as no mentally healthy person could do this. why do we have these kind of people in the world?
  3. EyesOfTheWorld
    People like this should be shot immediately after a guilty verdict is reached, assuming the evidence is 100% accurate and there is no reasonable doubt it was him (can't be punishing innocent people). It's shit like this that gives drugs and drug users a bad name, even though this clown probably wasn't a user himself. I'm opposed to killing people via the death penalty, but rapists are not people.
  4. enquirewithin
    Words fail to describe people like this! It's not that often that ketamine is really used as 'date rape' drug, as it often described.
  5. Samadhi
    Reminds me of the TV series 'Dexter' when he knocks out victims with the syringe to the neck... but he was killing baddies... not raping women.

    The guy obviously has issues with power over women. I never understood sexual predators and offenders, the love of a woman is something that is sacred to swim, treating a woman (or any human) as a piece of trash or something for me to have power over is sickening to me.

    This man deserves to burn. But that is for the court to decide. Knowing our justice system, this insane rape case will get a year long extension and the next court case following will be for possession of LSD or something and the guy will go to jail for 25-life.
  6. MatRespect
    This is a horrific case and is an extreme version of abuses conducted while people are out of it on ketamine. We had a rapist in Bath who was offering women generous lines of a white powder he claimed was cocaine. The powder turned out to be ketamine and the dealer / rapist then raped the women while they were out of it on ketamine. The rapist was targeting women who were involved in daily heroin and crack use because he trusted that they would not want to go to the police. While he was right on this point, he didn't anticipate the women talking to local drug workers. The drug workers were able to pass on descriptions of the guy to the police without requiring the informants to come out to the police. The local head of police intelligence was very progressive and made it very clear that his priority was to take out the rapist not target the victims. It was a good example of a brokered relationship between the police and our community.

    This type of attacker is extreme but there is an important lesson about accepting drugs from unknown people, particularly when then drug is an unidentified powder or joint that could contain any number of drugs.
  7. Terrapinzflyer
    ketamine- 23 Years for Sex Offender

    23 Years for Sex Offender
    Steven Neff May Face Additional Charges

    Steven Neff, found guilty by a Santa Barbara jury in October of two counts of attempted unlawful penetration and additional enhancements, was sentenced to 23 years in state prison on Monday, December 14, his 42nd birthday.

    Neff, who admitted on the stand to attacking and injecting at least four women with Ketamine, a powerful sedative, will also have to register as a sex offender and pay restitution. Hands cuffed together, and dressed in jail-issue scrubs in place of the suit he had been wearing throughout the trial, Neff told the court he had a “broken heart and a contrite spirit,” and that he had let down his family as well as the community. Neff also thanked the judge, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen, and his own attorney, Deputy Public Defender Michael Hanley. “It’s been a long, hard journey, and I’m ready to move on,” Neff said. None of the victims of Neff’s crimes were present for his sentencing.

    Paul Wellman
    Steven Neff sentenced to 23 years in state prison on his 42nd birthday, Dec. 14, 2009
    The charges related to two 2002 attacks—one on a co-worker, that took place in Neff’s apartment, and one that took place on a beach in Goleta. The first victim—then a 22-year-old UCSB student—was jogging on Haskell’s Beach when Neff grabbed her from behind, pinned her down, and injected her with Ketamine. Neff testified that while he had her down, he masturbated through his shorts. A small bit of his DNA was later found on her jogging shorts. The woman, who went in and out of consciousness during the attack, didn’t remember if she had been sexually assaulted. Neff denied sexually assaulting her, though he admitted to being more “sexually charged” because he was on drugs. Follow-up exams were inconclusive.

    The more gruesome allegation came from a former co-worker of Neff’s who alleged she had been at Neff’s home, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana, when he came up from behind where she was sitting on a couch and she felt a prick in her neck. She soon lost her ability to function but was partially consciousness. At some point she remembered Neff inserting an enema into her and losing control of her bowels. She felt him smearing something on her face as well as his, she told the jury when she took the stand, and she believed it to be her own excrement.

    Steven Neff leaves the courthouse after sentencing
    Neff addressed the court Monday before being sentenced. His hope, he said (to a courtroom that was empty except for a reporter and three jurors from his first trial), was that his meticulous journals and notes which were central to his conviction, would also help doctors understand and be able to help people “who have my problems.”

    Neff, who took the stand during the trial against the advice of his attorney, ended up being his own worst enemy. Judge Rick Brown noted Neff’s testimony in explaining his sentence. He specifically called attention to Neff’s explanation of how he came to carry out the attacks. On the stand, Neff, who said he received formal training as a writer at the University of Iowa, said he attacked woman based on the premise of a story he had concocted. In this story, the protagonist would find female tourists staying at nearby hotels, inject them with Ketamine, steal their hotel room key and valuables, and while they were unconscious he would go to their hotel room and steal their belongings. This would all pay for a never-ending snowboard and surf trip around the world. Neff inserted himself into the protagonist’s role, and that is how he came to attack the women.

    His decision to take the stand opened up the legal door for the prosecution to put into evidence his journals, which were very detailed, and filled with notes and scribbles and story ideas. In an entry from 1998, he described a character who was “… planning to chloroform women and gratify himself with their unconscious bodies.” In another he indicated he had dreamt of spying on a former girlfriend and then raping her.

    Neff also told the jury he was a chronic masturbator, often several times a week, which was outlined in his journal. He testified that over a one-and-a-half year period with an ex-girlfriend, he injected her with Ketamine roughly 75 times, often having sexual intercourse with her in an unconscious state. The two would travel to Mexico to get the tranquilizing drug.

    Neff also admitted to attacking a French tourist on a Santa Barbara beach and a woman who was skiing on a mountain in Mammoth. Those attacks, however, were not prosecuted because the statute of limitations had passed.

    Paul Wellman
    D.A. Ron Zonin
    The prosecutor ran into statute of limitation-related problems at the end of Neff’s first trial, which resulted in Neff’s conviction on the exact same charges. Neff originally faced more serious felony charges of unlawful penetration with a foreign object but the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on those charges. Five days into deliberations in the first trial, the jury received new instructions detailing the option of finding Neff guilty of lesser offenses. Zonen, in court papers, said he hadn’t asked the judge to issue instructions on lesser offenses, as he thought those charges fell outside the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations generally allows a longer time to file charges for more serious offenses. After the jury found Neff guilty of the lesser charges, the public defender filed a motion for a retrial, which was granted by the judge. Zonen then re-filed charges but this time only for the lesser charges.

    Paul Wellman
    Judge Rick Brown hands down a 23 year prison term to Steven Neff
    Brown, in sentencing Neff, said the man showed “callous disregard for the victims,” who experienced “sheer terror.” The crime involved planning and sophistication, the judge said, explaining why he sentenced Neff to the upper term of four years on the first charge of attempted unlawful penetration, plus 15 years for enhancements of using a deadly weapon—namely the syringe with which he administered Ketamine—and of inflicting great bodily injury. The judge chose a sentence of four years in connection to the second charge of attempted unlawful penetration, for a total of 23 years. “It’s appropriate,” Zonen said in response to the sentence. He declined to elaborate, citing the potential of a new charge involving another victim.

    December 18 2009
  8. chillinwill
  9. enquirewithin
    For once, the courts handed out some kind of justice. This is not the war on drugs, but a war for individual liberty,
  10. fnord
    Do people often pass out from a single syringe of K? grandma has always found it takes 2-3-4 syringes full of a saturated solution of powdered K in water to knock her out.
    Is the liquid K a more saturated solution then one can get by dissolving powdered K into water?
  11. EscapeDummy
    23 years for this sick fuck

    A double life sentence for William Pickard

  12. enquirewithin
    Apparently ketamine can be made very concentrated, according to taste. A knock-out shot could be made very small in volume. But Neff should NEVER EVER be allowed any access to it. He may have added a sedative too?
  13. pinksox
    The IV Ketamine carried by veterinarians is concentrated enough that a few mL's can put a 1200lb horse down on the ground motionless for up to 30 minutes or more.

    It's formulated in differing concentrations/mL as one would not want to use the same concentration for a horse on say a cat because the dose would be too difficult to safely/accurately deliver.

    I don't think this jackass got near enough time. Chances are he'll be out in 15 years and soon looking for more victims.
  14. enquirewithin
    Neff is a very nasty piece of work, indeed. Ketamine branded for veterinary use is said to rather potent used with human beings.;)
  15. mbarnes0
    Utter insanity
  16. mastergd
    Should have an electric egg beater beating at full force lunged into his eyes.

    Honestly i wish i didn't read this it's just that horrible..
  17. EyesOfTheWorld
    To swiy-Fnord. Yes, injecting straight liquid veterinary ketamine is much, much stronger than IMing dissolved powder. Plus, SWIY's grandma assumedly has a tolerance, where these random people didn't. My uncle says if he does a 5-7 unit IM shot of straight from the bottle ket he's done for. Immobilized with joy beyond the k-hole.
  18. enquirewithin
    The strength of ketamine is really to do with the concentration, not whether is t is powder or liquid (human or veterinary), although it is difficult to tell how pure 'street' ketamine is.
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