A Jefferson Parish judge on Friday (July 7) sentenced Stephen Sauer to 25 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to being a serial sexual predator who drugged 17 men he met in the French Quarter and drove the unconscious victims to his Metairie home. There, he used mobile devices to obtain images of the victims in various stages of undress; he molested some of the men.
Sauer, 61, admitted to targeting men who appeared to be intoxicated, lost or in need of assistance. Then, in offering to help, he drugged the men. In some cases, he put narcotics in their drinks while at bars or, after they passed out from drinking alcohol, he used an eyedropper to feed them the sleep-inducing substances.
Sauer then drove the victims to his home in the 4700 block of Purdue Drive, where he photographed or videotaped the unconscious men. He molested some of the men and pleasured himself, and the following morning he gave them rides to their hotels or other locations.
He shared his images with others through a website or traded the images with others via email, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office found in its investigation.
Many of the victims were visiting New Orleans from out of state, were separated from friends or simply lost when Sauer approached them and offered help. The crimes for which he was charged occurred over a two-year period beginning in 2019.
Sauer pleaded guilty to 13 counts of sexual battery, nine counts of third-degree rape, 17 counts of video voyeurism and to 16 misdemeanor charges of possessing legend drugs without prescriptions and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sauer admitted his crimes and pled guilty as charged in 24th Judicial District Judge Shayna Beevers Morvant’s court and was sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison. The judge additionally ordered Sauer to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, and to refrain from contacting 12 of his victims for the rest of his life.
The investigation began in June 2021, after Sauer sent a computer hard drive to an electronics repair company in New York. A data recovery technician found hundreds of images suggesting sexual assaults had taken place. New York law enforcement officials determined the images were taken in Metairie and notified the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives were able to identify many victims in part because Sauer took photographs of their driver’s licenses or other forms of identification.
In Sauer’s home, detectives found prescription pill bottles in the name of a convicted sex offender in Missouri. The narcotics included a common “date rape” drug, Zolpidem.
Detectives believe that more than 50 victims remain unidentified.
Assistant District Attorneys Kellie Rish and Rachel Africk prosecuted the case.