February 16, 2012
A 23-year-old Galloway man was found guilty late last week of raping a juvenile female relative.
A Delaware County jury convicted Joshua J.M. Steele, 5445 Ryebrook Ave., on unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and gross sexual imposition charges. Between May 2009 and September 2009, he raped the girl, then 14, in her family’s farmhouse in the Ostrander area three separate times, the jury found. He had lived there in April 2009 for about a month.
Steele is also scheduled to face trial on two separate dates — Sept. 20 and Sept. 27 — for allegedly touching two other victims in their genital areas.
Steele will not be sentenced on the rape conviction until those two trials, in each of which Steele faces one charge of gross sexual imposition, are over.
More information on the other victims was not immediately available, but prosecutors allege in charging documents that one crime took place between 1999 and 2001, and another between 2004 and 2006.
Both victims were less than 13 years old at the time, according to the indictments.
Prosecutors had initially intended to try Steele on charges related to all three victims in the same trial, but Common Pleas Judge Everett H. Krueger ordered the case be split apart.
Krueger cited a recent 5th District Appellate Court decision that overturned the Delaware County rape conviction of another man.
A jury had in August 2010 convicted Oral D. Slaven, 55, of Delaware of raping two juvenile relatives. He was sentenced to 85 years to life in prison. However, appellate judges ruled that the two cases should have been tried separately since the charges involved two separate victims.
Slaven’s new trial was postponed indefinitely last month so his lead defense attorney could complete a trial on an unrelated case.