Leska convicted in brutal homicide, sexual assault

Steven Leska (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department)
Steven Leska (Source: Pima County Sheriff's Department)
Published: Apr. 4, 2018 at 3:17 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 13, 2018 at 5:18 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A Tucson man accused of sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend and killing her new boyfriend in 2016 will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

The Pima County Superior Court said Steven Leska was found guilty on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, sexual assault, sexual abuse, kidnapping, aggravated assault and first-degree burglary on Wednesday, April 4.

The 48-year-old Leska will be sentenced at 1 p.m. Monday, May 14.

Authorities said Leska broke into a home in February 2016 and attacked his ex-girlfriend and James Kozar III, her new boyfriend.

Leska slit Kozar's throat and he died at the scene, according to documents from the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

The PCSD said Leska then attacked and sexually assaulted his ex-girlfriend.

The victim told detectives she was asleep when Leska broke in around 4:45 a.m.

She said Leska tied her up and sexually assaulted her. She said she was able to talk him into letting her use the bathroom and that is how she was able to escape through a window.

She told detectives Leska caught up with her on the front lawn and assaulted her with a rock.

A neighbor heard the commotion and distracted Leska long enough for the victim to get away.

In her statements to authorities, the victim said Leska began harassing and stalking her and her family after a breakup. She said she requested and was granted a protection order.

Authorities said they received reports of a prowler in the area before the incident and that the prowler was identified as Leska.

Leska allegedly told authorities the victim made him do it.

During the investigation, authorities recovered the following items at Leska's home:

  • Anger management pamphlets in the trunk of Leska's vehicle
  • Rolls of tape, zip ties and box cutters
  • A prescription for a drug used to treat depression/anxiety

The following items were recovered from the home on West Harran Circle:

  • Zip ties and rope from Leska's pockets
  • Box cutter with blood
  • Swabs of blood from around the home
  • Several knives

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