RIPLEY - A registered sex offender will spend the next 20-40 years in prison for sexually abusing a six-year-old female acquaintance while visiting her family’s Jackson County home last fall.
Leonard L. Steele, 46, was sentenced in Jackson Circuit Court to a prison term of 10-20 years by Judge Tom Evans for each of two counts of sexual abuse by a person in a position of trust. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively, meaning Steele must serve at least 20 years behind bars and as many as 40 years. In addition, Judge Evans ordered that when released, Steele will be under extended supervision for an additional 30 years.
Steele was arrested January 25, 2013, by Trooper C.A. May of the West Virginia State Police detachment at Ripley on a warrant issued by Magistrate Tom Reynolds charging first degree sexual assault. Trooper May was contacted by a social services worker on January 19, 2013, about the alleged sexual assault.
Steele, 45 and a registered sex offender at the time of his arrest, had served eight years in prison previously for the second degree sexual assault of a female family member in Williamson, Mingo County.
During a forensic interview of the juvenile victim by Maureen Runyon at Women’s a and Children’s Hospital in Charleston, details of the crimes by Steele were obtained, the warrant issued and his arrest made.
In other recent action on criminal cases pending in Jackson Circuit Court:
• Eduardo Xol Tul was sentenced to 1-3 years in prison for attempting to commit a felony.
• James McDaniel was sentenced to 1-5 years in prison for conspiracy to commit a felony.
• Harvey Dilley was sentenced to 1-5 years home confinement for conspiracy to commit a felony.
• Jesse Haynes was sentenced to 1-3 years home confinement after his probation was revoked.
• Lloyd Riffle was sentenced to one year in jail for battery.
• Cody Hayes was sentenced to 1-5 years home confinement for conspiracy to commit a felony.
• Jessica Ray was sentenced to 1-5 years home confinement for conspiracy to commit a felony.