Victim Testifies Foster Parent Molested Him

Victim, 25, Testifies Steven Bimson Molested Him When He Was 13

A 25-year-old man testified Tuesday that a man who took him in from a shelter when he was 13 molested him every night for months until he told the defendant he wanted it to stop.

The witness, identified only as Sam, testified in the trial of Steven Bimson, 65, who is charged with molesting two other teenage boys in much the same way.

Bimson faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of more than 30 counts of committing a lewd act on a child and oral copulation on a child.

Sam testified that his older brother first met the defendant in 1992 and went to live with him after meeting through a Big Brother-Big Sister program.

The witness said his family had been living in a shelter because his mother was having drug and emotional problems.

Sometime in 1997 or 1998, Sam said he got a chance to move in with his brother at Bimson's house, but first went on a trip with the defendant to a resort in Tucson so Bimson could see how he acted.

The witness said he and Bimson shared a bed and the defendant molested him early the next morning.

"I didn't know what to say," Sam said. "I don't remember saying anything."

Sam said he didn't say anything because he knew it could affect his moving in with Bimson.

Once he moved in with the defendant, Sam said he had to sleep in the same bed with Bimson, who molested him every night.

"Steve (Bimson) would always go to bed at 10 o'clock and the door was closed," Sam testified. "It happened every night."

The only break in the molestation came when Sam got circumcised, he testified.

Sam said his older brother Nick and another boy eventually moved out of Bimson's home, and Sam told the defendant he wanted the molestation to stop. The witness said Bimson told him he wanted to be hugged and shown more affection, but Sam refused.

Sam said the defendant would take him on trips to Peru, Mexico, Detroit, Las Vegas and San Francisco, and molest him in hotel rooms "whenever there was a chance."

The witness said Bimson bought him clothes, a snowboard and even made a down-payment on a car.

"I was scared what people would think of me," Sam said. "I was terrified of the situation. My whole concern was that I didn't want anybody to know. It was a secret."

Sam said he confided in his girlfriend at the time about the molestations but still didn't go to the police.

He said he ended up telling his brother and some friends after he turned 18, and police set up a pretext call with Bimson.

On that call, Bimson didn't deny that the molestations happened and told Sam that they should get together and talk about things, Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick Mazzarella said in her opening statement.

The prosecutor said Bimson was not a philanthropist but a man who befriended young boys to benefit himself for sexual gratification.

"The defendant would say it was OK for men to show affection," Mazzarella told the jury.

One victim even said Bimson treated him like a girlfriend, the prosecutor said.

In November 2006, Sam's brother Nick called Child Protective Services and told them Bimson had molested him in Arizona, the prosecutor said.

Nick told authorities he called them to make sure Bimson didn't keep taking in foster children, Mazzarella told the jury.

Two other boys will testify that Bimson molested them, the prosecutor said. But defense attorney Lisa Berman said Bimson was a "wonderful man" who took in broken boys from broken homes.

"Mr. Bimson would give and give and give," his attorney said. "At some point, the giving stopped."

She said Bimson was a Rotary International member who believed in the organization's motto "Service Above Self."

"He didn't target these children, he helped children," the attorney told the jury in her opening statement.

Bimson was found last Aug. 18 semiconscious inside a rental car parked on the side of a Las Vegas freeway, with a hose running from the vehicle's exhaust pipe into the passenger seat compartment, authorities said.