Cuyahoga County

Attorney General DeWine, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor McGinty Announce Rape Indictments

3/15/2013

Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation to Assist Cuyahoga County in Rape Investigations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840
Maria (Pinzone) Russo: 216-698-2819 

(CLEVELAND, Ohio) -- Attorney General Mike DeWine and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty today announced the first criminal indictments filed as a result of increased efforts to examine the state's untested rape kits for DNA evidence.  

Attorney General DeWine announced the sexual assault kit testing initiative in December 2011, hiring four new Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) forensic scientists to focus exclusively on testing the old kits. The scientists went through a period of training before beginning the testing in August 2012.  

This month, indictments were returned in two Cuyahoga County cases dating back approximately 20 years.  

"These indictments are just the beginning," said Attorney General DeWine. "Our scientists are getting DNA matches on a regular basis and handing that information over to local law enforcement for further investigation. We are thrilled that our combined efforts are now solving cases."  

Charles Steele, 60, was indicted by Prosecutor McGinty's office for the rape and kidnapping of a Cleveland woman in 1993. He is accused of attacking the victim at gunpoint after forcing her into an abandoned garage.  Two days after that indictment, BCI matched Steele's DNA to another attack on a Cleveland woman that happened eight months after the first incident. Charges in that case are pending.  The suspect is currently in prison on a Hamilton County rape conviction.  

Prosecutor McGinty said, “Law enforcement has a duty to give prison DNA matches a 110% effort because 1) they are almost certain convictions and 2) they incapacitate the offender and prevent him from committing his next rape. These cases should be law enforcements highest priority. Dollar for dollar this is the most productive use of a detective’s time, bar none.”  

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office also indicted Anthony Moore, 42, this week on charges of rape, kidnapping, felonious assault, and attempted murder in connection with another 1993 crime. Detectives with the Cleveland Police Department investigated the case.  

"These indictments reflect the hard work of our detectives and their dedication to the cold cases which they continue to investigate.  The initiative has already proven to be successful and shows how our partnership with BCI results in solving these cases, even after many years," said Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath. "Most importantly, the indictments will hopefully bring some comfort to the victims and their families as they continue on the road to recovery."  

So far, 53 law enforcement agencies have submitted a total of 2,465 rape kits to BCI for the free DNA testing services. More than 1,000 of those cases are from Cleveland.  Agents with BCI's Special Investigations Unit will be working with Cleveland Police and Prosecutor McGinty's office to assist with the increased workload.  

"More DNA hits mean more open investigations for our local law enforcement agencies," said DeWine. "My office is dedicated to helping our local authorities resolve as many of these cases as possible."  

Of the approximately 600 rape kits tested so far by BCI, 90 have yielded a DNA hit.

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