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Steven LORENZO

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Serial rapist of gay men - Torture
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: December 19-20, 2003
Date of arrest: November 2, 2004
Date of birth: 1959
Victims profile: Jason Galehouse, 26, and Michael Wachholtz, 26 (gay men)
Method of murder: ???
Location: Tampa, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to 200 years in prison on January 28, 2006
 
 

 
 

Text of law enforcement interview of Scott Schweickert

 

Scott Schweickert criminal complaint

 

Chats between Lorenzo and other men

 
 

 
 

Tampa man gets 200 years for raping men

By Larry Buhl - PlanetOut Network

January 30, 2006

A serial rapist of gay men was sentenced in federal court Friday to the maximum 200 years in a Florida prison and is expected to face murder charges for killing two of his victims.

Steven Lorenzo, 46, was found guilty in November of slipping the "date-rape drug" GHB into the drinks of nine gay men, then raping and sexually torturing them at his home.

Seven of Lorenzo's victims testified that they met Lorenzo in Tampa gay bars and went home with him. According to their testimony, when they woke up they were naked, bound and in pain. Lorenzo's attorney argued that the sex acts were consensual.

Two of the nine victims named in the rape case were murdered, and prosecutors say they plan to try Lorenzo and an accomplice, Scott Schweickert of Chicago, in the killings. Lorenzo allegedly met Schweickert online and agreed to fulfill a fantasy of torturing and killing men.

In May, Schweickert told federal agents that he and Lorenzo dismembered the body of Jason Galehouse, 26, put the pieces in garbage bags and scattered them in trash bags throughout Tampa on Dec. 19, 2003. The next night, Lorenzo and Schweickert allegedly drugged, raped and killed Michael Wachholtz, 26, wrapping him in a bed sheet and leaving him in his Jeep.

Schweickert's voluntary confession led police to a cache of nearly half a million images on Lorenzo's computer, including photographs of Wachholtz's dead body taken at Lorenzo's house. Galehouse's DNA was found in a pool of blood under the floor of Lorenzo's garage.

Schweickert faces a federal trial on similar drug charges within two weeks. State and local authorities believe it is likely that both men will face murder charges in state court as well.

Brian Winfield, spokesman for Equality Florida, said he was pleased with the results of the federal trial, but wants to ensure that murder charges go forward.

Winfield told the PlanetOut Network that police homophobia, contrary to earlier fears, has so far not hindered the investigation or the prosecution.

"We used town-hall meetings and press releases and other means to help victims who might be intimidated (by possibly homophobic officers) to come forward," he said. "Now the gay community's relationship with Tampa police has grown stronger, and we have a mostly open communication with the state attorney."

Investigators are also looking into the connection between Lorenzo and the disappearance of at least six other gay men in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.

"Everyone involved in the case believes there are other victims of Lorenzo," Winfield said. "These nine were just the strongest cases."

Lorenzo allegedly met Schweickert online and agreed to fulfill a fantasy of torturing and killing men.

In May, Schweickert told federal agents that he and Lorenzo dismembered the body of Jason Galehouse, 26, put the pieces in garbage bags and scattered them in trash bags throughout Tampa on Dec. 19, 2003. The next night, Lorenzo and Schweickert allegedly drugged, raped and killed Michael Wachholtz, 26, wrapping him in a bed sheet and leaving him in his Jeep.

Schweickert's voluntary confession led police to a cache of nearly half a million images on Lorenzo's computer, including photographs of Wachholtz's dead body taken at Lorenzo's house. Galehouse's DNA was found in a pool of blood under the floor of Lorenzo's garage.

Schweickert faces a federal trial on similar drug charges within two weeks. State and local authorities believe it is likely that both men will face murder charges in state court as well.

Brian Winfield, spokesman for Equality Florida, said he was pleased with the results of the federal trial, but wants to ensure that murder charges go forward.

Winfield told the PlanetOut Network that police homophobia, contrary to earlier fears, has so far not hindered the investigation or the prosecution.

"We used town-hall meetings and press releases and other means to help victims who might be intimidated (by possibly homophobic officers) to come forward," he said. "Now the gay community's relationship with Tampa police has grown stronger, and we have a mostly open communication with the state attorney."

Investigators are also looking into the connection between Lorenzo and the disappearance of at least six other gay men in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale.


Lorenzo guilty on all 10 counts

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Steven Lorenzo was found guilty Thursday on all 10 counts of drugging, raping and torturing nine men.

Prosecutors also said Lorezno, along with Scott Schweikert, murdered Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz in December 2003. But he has not been charged with their murders.

Schweikert will face a federal trial later.

Wachholtz's mother, Ruth Wachholtz, was in court as the verdict was read. Lorenzo's family, his father and two siblings, were also in the audience. One of them started to cry as the guilty verdicts were read. However, Lorenzo stayed calm, smiling and making kissing motions and patting his attorney on the back.

Lorenzo's attorney, Donald Harrison, said he will appeal.

Sentencing will not be until January, but Lorenzo could receive up to 20 years in prison for each count.

Lorenzo has not been charged with murder in any of the nine cases. That can only happen in state court, and state prosecutors said they are still building their case against him.

Deliberations, which started Wednesday, only took about three-and-a-half hours.


Man Sentenced To 200 Years For Drugging, Raping Men

WKMG-TV NEWS

January 27, 2006

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Tampa man convicted in federal court of drugging and raping nine young men was sentenced to the maximum 200 years in prison Friday.

Two of the victims of Steven Lorenzo ended up dead, and he is likely to face murder charges in state court later.

"I hope that he never sees the light of day again," said U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara after the sentencing.

A jury in November found Lorenzo, 46, guilty of slipping the date rape drug, GHB, into the drinks of all nine victims and then sexually torturing them at his home.

Michael Wachholtz and Jason Galehouse, both 26, were killed. The other seven victims all testified about meeting Lorenzo at bars and either losing track of their drinks or having Lorenzo serve them drinks before they lost consciousness.

The men woke up naked and in pain, some remembering bondage or forced sex, and others having almost no memory of what happened.

Lorenzo's attorney argued that the sex acts were consensual.

Prosecutors said Lorenzo teamed up with Scott Schweickert, a Chicago man he met online, to fulfill their ultimate fantasy by killing Wachholtz and Galehouse.

Galehouse was killed and dismembered by Schweickert and Lorenzo on Dec. 19, 2003, after the three engaged in sex, an indictment said. Schweickert told federal agents he and Lorenzo cut up the body, put the pieces in garbage bags and scattered them in trash bins throughout the city.

The next night, Lorenzo and Schweickert allegedly drugged, raped and killed Wachholtz, wrapping him a bed sheet and leaving him in his Jeep, according to the indictment. The vehicle was discovered Jan. 6, 2004.

Investigators found on Lorenzo's computer hundreds of thousands of images, including photographs of Wachholtz's dead body taken at Lorenzo's house hours after he was last seen.

Galehouse's DNA was found in a large pool of blood in the dirt beneath the cobblestone floor of Lorenzo's garage.

Schweickert will face a federal trial later.



Investigators mingle outside the Seminole Heights home of Steven Lorenzo on W. Powhatan Avenue in Tampa during the investigation in 2005. (Kathy Moore/Tribune)

 

Steven Lorenzo

 

 

 
 
 
 
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