Cuyahoga County

Cold Case Unit Investigation Results in Indictment of Charles Steele for 1993 and 1994 Rapes Totaling Four Victims

June 13, 2013

CLEVELAND- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced that an investigation by the Cold Case Unit has resulted in the indictment of Charles Steele for raping four women - ages 23, 27, 28, and 47 – during a 12-month period in 1993 and 1994. The indictment includes four counts of Rape and four counts of Kidnapping. Steele is scheduled to be arraigned June 14, 2013.

On March 5, 1993, Steele, now 60, approached a 28-year-old female as she was walking near East 137th Street and Union Avenue in Cleveland. He forced the victim at gunpoint into an abandoned garage off of Union Avenue and threatened her with her life. He then sexually assaulted the female and fled the scene.

On September 15, 1993, Steele approached the 47-year-old victim who was walking near East 79th Street and Chester Avenue in Cleveland. He forced her at gunpoint into a vacant lot then sexually assaulted the victim and fled.

On November 15, 1993, Steele approached the 23-year-old female who was walking near East 71st Street and Hough Avenue in Cleveland. Steele had asked if he could walk with the victim, and she had replied no. He then grabbed the victim, pulling her behind Martin Luther King, Jr. High School. The victim attempted to protect herself which angered Steele even more. He then sexually assaulted her and fled the area.

On March 6, 1994, Steele approached the 27-year-old victim who was walking near Lakeview Avenue and St. Clair Street in Cleveland, when he grabbed the victim from behind at gunpoint. Steele then forced the victim at knife point to the ground. He sexually assaulted the victim and then told her to start walking and not turn around.

Prosecutor McGinty said, “Mr. Steele demonstrates why it is so important to test every single untested rape kit sitting on the shelves at the Cleveland Police Department. There are more violent, serial rapists like this man just waiting to be discovered. And we want to accelerate the pace of our investigations and take them off the streets before they rape again. It’s a big day to get this guy, and there are going to be more like him.”

Recently, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office received confirmation from Ohio’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) that DNA samples matched that of Charles Steele. Steele is currently serving a prison term of 15-50 years for separate Rape and Kidnapping charges out of Hamilton County.

The Cold Case Unit works with Cleveland Police Detectives from the Homicide and Sex Crime Units as well as BCI, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Marshall’s Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communication and Public Policy or Maria (Pinzone) Russo, Public Information Officer, Phone: (216) 698-2819 .  

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