Abuse suspect’s past may be revealed in court | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Abuse suspect’s past may be revealed in court

It was a brief appearance in El Dorado County Superior Court for Rudolph Steele, who faces more than 23 years in state prison and chemical castration if convicted on charges relating to the sexual abuse of a 4-year-old boy.

Deputy District Attorney Peter O’Hara submitted a motion to the court to admit evidence. The motion regards alleged prior conduct by Steele relating to this case.

Steele’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Simon Harvey, asked the court for more time so he could submit a response. Judge Jerald Lasarow granted Harvey’s request and scheduled Steele’s next court appearance for Dec. 5.

Steele, who has AIDS, created whispers in the courtroom because he was wearing a mask over his mouth.

Authorities have not released if the boy contracted the disease.

Lt. Les Lovell, commander of the jail, said the mask was for “medical concerns.” Law enforcement sometimes uses spit masks to prevent people with diseases from spitting on officers.

Steele pleaded not guilty in September to sodomy, oral copulation with a minor, penetration with a foreign object, lewd acts on a minor, child endangerment, continued sexual abuse of a child and intent to infect another with AIDS.

Steele, 40, was arrested in August after the boy told his mother about the alleged abuse during a two hour conversation. He remains in El Dorado County Jail on $210,000 bail.

A special allegation would allow prosecutors to seek chemical castration as a form of punishment. A formula, called medroxyprogesterone acetate, will be given to Steele if he is convicted of the charges. MTA blunts the sex drive by lowering testosterone levels.

Chemical castration is an option for prosecutors when dealing with perpetrators of crimes against victims 13 years old or younger. It would be administered a week before parole.

A Jan. 6 trial date remains on schedule.

— Contact William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com

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