Serial Rapist Will Spend Rest of Life in Prison
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A serial rapist tied by his DNA to the rapes of four Cleveland women in the 1990s will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Charles Steele, 61, was sentenced Friday to spend no fewer than 65 years and up to 184 years in prison after being convicted earlier this month of four counts of rape and three counts of kidnapping.
The rapes occurred in 1993 and 1994, according to prosecutors. Three of his victims testified at trial. The fourth has passed away, but the state was able to get a conviction based on DNA evidence and patterns with the other rapes.
Two of the living victims, both of whom were in their 20s when they were raped, spoke at the sentencing. One of them told the judge that Steele “didn’t take my joy, and he didn’t take my determination.”
Steele was the first defendant indicted last year after the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office organized a DNA Cold Case Task Force to pursue cases made possible by testing of backlogged sexual assault kits.
To date, the task force has completed 124 investigations, which have led to 85 indictments and 27 serial rapists.
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