Child molestation case goes to trial in April |

Child molestation case goes to trial in April

William Ferchland, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The trial for a man accused of sodomizing a boy has been rescheduled after the court appointed him a new attorney.

The court appointed private practice attorney Lori London to represent Rudolph Steele after Deputy Public Defender Simon Harvey had repeated days of illness last week. The trial date is set for April 28.

Steele, 41, was being held at El Dorado County Jail on $210,000 bail on felony charges stemming from alleged sexual abuse of a 4-year-old boy.

London may have a tough case since El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Jerald Lasarow tentatively admitted allegations that Steele molested another boy.

The boy was born in 1981 but committed suicide in 1999. He reportedly made comments to a mental health counselor in December 1987 about Steele molesting him. The alleged incident took place prior to 1986.

Steele faces up to 23 years and six months in state prison if convicted on counts including 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.

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Steele pleaded not guilty to the charges. The boy tested negative for AIDS.

Steele was arrested in August after the 4-year-old boy told his mother about the alleged abuse during a two hour conversation. The mother contacted authorities and deputies from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department took Steele into custody.

If found guilty and sent to prison, Steele could be chemically castrated. The chemical is an option for prosecutors when dealing with persons convicted of crimes against victims 13 years old or younger. It would be given a week before parole.

— E-mail William Ferchland at