Las Vegas Metro Police Department officials released the arrest warrant this week detailing the allegations facing a local Realtor accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a Las Vegas hotel room last August.
The arrest affidavit recounts an investigation conducted by an LVMPD detective “to follow up on reports of drugging and drug-facilitated sexual assaults” involving Mike Bjorkman, 48, of Placerita Canyon, and the use of gamma hydroxybutyrate, or GHB — a central nervous system depressant colloquially known as a “date rape drug,” according to the DEA’s website.
Bjorkman faces two charges of sexual assault as a result of the allegations. The separate counts allege that Bjorkman digitally penetrated and then had sexual intercourse with a victim he should have known “was mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of defendant’s conduct,” according to the criminal complaint.
Bjorkman was in a Las Vegas courtroom Tuesday to make his initial appearance with defense attorney David Chesnoff, following Bjorkman’s brief detention in Florida after his March 9 arrest.
“Mr. Bjorkman voluntarily appeared in Las Vegas and vehemently denies the allegations and looks forward to his day in court,” Chesnoff said Wednesday, when reached for comment, “and we remind folks not to rush to judgment.”
The 27-page document was compiled after a monthslong investigation by LVMPD Detective Jason Lafreniere, a 19-year veteran of the agency, according to the court record. The report included accounts from a number of individuals who alleged Bjorkman and a person whose name was redacted from police documents used the drug recreationally a number of times.
“After the initial contact, with (name redacted), I received phone calls from numerous people informing me they had information and/or experiences of being drugged, and/or sexually assaulted, involving Mike Bjorkman,” Lafreniere wrote in his sworn statement. According to the affidavit, at least a dozen interviews were conducted as part of the investigation.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials also confirmed Tuesday that Bjorkman is under investigation by detectives with their Special Victims Unit for a 2007 sexual assault allegation from the West Los Angeles area.
The Las Vegas allegation
A redacted copy of the arrest warrant indicates Lafreniere interviewed a woman on Oct. 1 who claimed to have “direct knowledge that (Bjorkman) and (name redacted)” possessed and consumed GHB while in Las Vegas.
“She explained that immediately after the incidents and even returning home, she did not have full and complete memory of the sexual assault incidents but many of the memories have since returned and she was now ready to provide a statement,” according to the affidavit. “(Name redacted) explained that she does still have partial memory loss from the events in Las Vegas.”
She alleged that Bjorkman and (name redacted) drank capfuls of GHB that had been poured into a 5 Hour Energy container.
She also voluntarily consumed GHB on that trip with Bjorkman and (name redacted), according to her interview, as well as on a previous trip with Bjorkman, mentioning she has gaps in her memory from that trip, as well.
She provided the following timeline from a Las Vegas trip that took place the last weekend in August, when she claims the assault took place:
On Friday, the woman reported that she consensually consumed GHB while partying and has a limited memory of events from the night aside from a consensual “hookup” with (names redacted).
On Saturday, the group the alleged victim was a part of attended another real estate event and she took a part of an ecstasy pill and then drank cocktails while at the pool.
Later, the woman told the detective she went gambling with Bjorkman after taking a walk with him on the Las Vegas Strip. The victim’s memory of events became spotty after the two returned to the suites, according to the affidavit.
In her interview with Lafreniere, the alleged victim claimed she remembers waking up on a bed with (name redacted) and Bjorkman, and Bjorkman allegedly penetrated the victim with his hand, and then she recalls she “‘brushed it off,’ and rolled over.” The interview also notes the victim claimed that due to (name redacted), she “initially was just going to forget this and not say anything about Mike fingering her,” according to the interview summary in the affidavit, which also noted her initial memories of the incident only included digital penetration.
After the trip
The alleged victim then changed her plans, according to the interview, and flew home from Las Vegas earlier than expected.
After returning home, she confronted Bjorkman and asked if he’d drugged anyone, which Bjorkman denied, according to the affidavit.
About two weeks after the victim returned home, she recalled reading a book about “the unconsciousness mind,” and while reading it “the words started coming off the pages,” and she began to shake, according to the affidavit.
She then recalled additional incidents from her recent trip to Las Vegas, which took place after she allegedly removed Bjorkman’s hand from her pants. She claimed in the interview to recall Bjorkman picking her up, placing her on a massage table that was in the suite and then sexually assaulting her.
The victim doesn’t have full memory of the moments, according to her statement, but recalled having her hands over her head. She recalled crying while Bjorkman committed the act, and that after he finished, he stood near her and held her while she cried. She said she’s been “reliving” the incident over and over, according to her statement to the detective. She denied ever having any consensual encounter with Bjorkman. At the time of the interview, the victim stated she still had the clothes she wore from the incident, and they had not been washed.
The clothes were turned over to LVMPD, tested for DNA and impounded as evidence. The redacted affidavit does not include the results of the testing.
She also said that after she returned from her trip, she posted on social media about being drugged, without mentioning names, which resulted in multiple people coming forward to mention “allegations of being drugged, and/or alleging inappropriate and/or criminal acts while at real estate events involving Bjorkman,” according to the affidavit.
The Las Vegas allegations have so far resulted in at least one additional investigation.
On Tuesday, Lt. John Adams of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau confirmed detectives are also following up on information that was shared with them shortly after Bjorkman’s arrest in Florida on March 9. He was taken into custody after an arrest warrant issued by LVMPD, while the Realtor was returning from vacation.
“Back on March 10, we received info from (Las) Vegas and it indicated that there was a female adult that could be an alleged victim here in our jurisdiction,” Adams said, referring to the Marina Del Rey Sheriff’s Station’s area.
That investigation is in its preliminary stages, but Adams said he could confirm it was linked to information that came from Lafreniere’s investigation, which included interviews with hotel security officials, people who attended the Las Vegas trip and attendees from other real estate-related work functions Bjorkman attended.
The West Los Angeles-area allegation focuses on a 2007 sexual assault allegation that SVU detectives believe is within the statute of limitations, per California law, Adams said.
A spokesperson for the Clark County District Attorney’s Office issued the following statement via email Tuesday, with respect to following up on Tuesday’s appearance by Bjorkman in Department 11 of the Las Vegas Township Justice Court: “We do not release information on cases with sexual assault allegations.”
Officials confirmed the case was being prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Rob Stephens, who also did not immediately respond to a voicemail left Tuesday.
Court records available online indicated a $100,000 surety bond was posted, defense counsel was ordered to keep the defendant’s passport and Bjorkman is to have no contact with the alleged victim.
Bjorkman is due back in court May 6 for his preliminary hearing. At a preliminary hearing, the evidence is presented and the case’s presiding Judge Eric Goodman is expected to decide whether there’s enough evidence to merit a trial.