Surrey man accused of drugging/assaulting victims changes pleas, admits guilt
A man accused of drugging numerous people in Surrey and Langley so he could sexually assault and/or rob them has now pleaded guilty to several of the 24 charges he was facing.
The trial of Steven Beszedes began last week in New Westminster Supreme Court, where the 47-year-old pleaded not guilty to all 24 criminal counts – 12 of administering a drug to commit and indictable offence, seven of sexual assault and five of robbery. Most of his alleged victims were sex trade workers or addicts.
However, last week (March 13), Beszedes pleaded guilty to four of the drug charges, four of the robbery charges and one of sexual assault.
On six of the other drug charges, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
Crown prosecutors argued Beszedes drugged vulnerable people for his own benefit. His alleged victims claimed he offered them free drugs and that after taking them, they fell unconscious almost immediately, sometimes for a day or two.
Many, said prosecutors, reported waking up naked or without underwear in parking lots, wooded areas or motels. Several said they'd been sexually assaulted, while others claimed items such as cash and jewelry had been stolen.
All of Beszedes' alleged victims were females, except one. Some said they knew him from prior encounters, while others had just met him.
The Crown contended the sole male complainant connected with Beszedes after using Craigslist for a casual sexual encounter.
He claimed Beszedes and a woman went to his motor home on a rented Langley property. He, too, alleged he was offered free drugs which he did and immediately passed out. His landlord called the man after seeing the two strangers leave, but got no response. He then went to his renter's motor home and found him unconscious with his pants down. His laptop and other belongings were also missing.
In hospital, the man's urine was found to contain the sedative/tranquilizer benzodiazepine – a drug the Crown argued was the same drug administered during his "dates" with the previous women.
The offences were alleged to have taken place between 2005 and 2010.
Court records indicate Beszedes has a lengthy criminal record stretching back to 2002 that includes convictions for mischief, break and enter, drug possession and theft.
His next court date is scheduled for April 11.