A Los Osos man accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl told detectives “I’m a child molester” and said he had skinny-dipped with and hugged the teen in a hot tub on multiple occasions prior to the alleged assault in March, according to police reports of his arrest.
Steve James Linzmeier, 57, was back in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Thursday, where Judge Rita Federman scheduled an April 30 evidentiary hearing when she will determine if enough evidence exists to go to trial.
Linzmeier pleaded not guilty last month to three felony counts of rape against a person incapable of giving consent, sexual penetration with a foreign object by force and sexual battery, as well as a misdemeanor charge of molesting or annoying a child.
The District Attorney’s Office also charged criminal enhancements of committing a violent crime against a developmentally disabled person, which Linzmeier has denied.
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Linzmeier was arrested March 29 at his home in the 1200 block of 11th Street shortly after the mother of a teen who had stayed at the house the previous night took her daughter to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.
The alleged victim attended school with Linzmeier’s son, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.
Police reports obtained this week reveal findings of the initial investigation as well as a confession Linzmeier allegedly made prior to his arrest. The reports only present the side of law enforcement, and their contents have not been proved in court.
Deputy Jake Loden wrote that he interviewed the alleged victim at Sierra Vista at about 2 p.m. March 29. He wrote that she told him she stayed the night at the house with her friend and her friend’s brother, mother, father and grandmother. At about 9 p.m. everyone but Linzmeier and the teen went to their respective bedrooms. The teen stayed on a couch in the living room, where Linzmeier — who had been drinking, she told the deputy — remained on another couch watching TV.
About 15 minutes after everyone went to sleep, the girl said, Linzmeier, wearing only boxer shorts, forced himself on top of her and sexually assaulted her for about 20 minutes.
She told the deputy she was too afraid to scream or resist and Linzmeier, who said nothing during the ordeal, told her “Just don’t tell (his wife)” before going to his bedroom, according to the report. The victim said she then cried herself to sleep.
The next morning, she reported the incident to her friend, whose mother then gathered her children and the alleged victim and drove to the girl’s home, where she told the girl’s mother of the allegations, the report reads.
The girl’s mother then took her to the hospital, where Detective Jeremy Nisse interviewed her before a nurse began a sexual assault medical exam.
Deputies then went to Linzmeier’s home with a search warrant and allegedly found him naked in his bedroom, according to Nisse’s report. Expressing initial frustration with the deputies inside his home, Linzmeier agreed to be taken to the Sheriff’s Office for an interview, the report says.
Though Linzmeier had not been placed under arrest, Nisse wrote, he told detectives near the onset of the interview, “I’m a child molester.”
When asked what occurred between himself and the victim after the rest of the family went to bed the night of March 28, Linzmeier said he “rolled around” on the couch with the alleged victim and admitted to several graphic and illegal acts but denied completing sexual intercourse with the teen, the report reads.
“Linzmeier stated he knew it was bad but apologized to the victim,” Nesse wrote.
The detective also wrote that Linzmeier said he had gone skinny-dipping with and hugged the girl in a hot tub on multiple occasions over a period of several months.
“Linzmeier said nobody would understand because the victim is his friend,” Nisse wrote. “(He) stated he did this to try to be nice to the victim.”
Detectives immediately placed Linzmeier under arrest after the interview. The interview was recorded, according to the report. Footage has not been shown in court.
Linzmeier remains in San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $175,000 bail.