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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tommy Ricardo Steptoe: Convicted of Rape

From the Lynchburg's Prosecutors Office:

On August 23, 2005, Tommy Ricardo Steptoe appeared in Lynchburg Circuit Court before Judge J. Leyburn Mosby and was convicted of the rape and forcible sodomy of a woman in her home on 13th Street. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jennifer Bennett prosecuted the case.

The crime occurred on October 23, 2004. The victim came home to find Steptoe in her house without permission. Steptoe assaulted the victim numerous times throughout the course of the night.

After he left the next morning, the victim immediately contacted the police. She was treated promptly at Lynchburg General Hospital, where a forensic nurse examiner identified bruising as well as 8 lacerations in her genital area which were not consistent with consensual sex. The victim testified that she scratched Steptoe during the rape and fingernail scrapings were collected from her and sent to the state forensic lab in Roanoke for DNA analysis. The lab found Steptoe’s DNA under the victim's fingernails.

Judge Mosby found that this strong physical evidence supported the victim's testimony that the sex was against her will and by force. Mosby stated during his ruling that he found the victim's testimony to be credible and corroborated by the physical evidence.

Steptoe remains incarcerated and will appear in court again on December 9, 2005 for sentencing.

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