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Rape case ends in conviction

by Andrew Maciejewski - amaciejewski@h-ponline.com

A 21-year-old Huntington man, who admitted to molesting a sleeping woman, pleaded guilty to three charges of rape and was sentenced Monday, according to court records.

Kaleb Lee Deshawn Steelman was sentenced to serve six years in prison and four years on probation, matching the time requested by the Huntington County Prosecutor’s Office according to a plea agreement. The plea says the agreement is contingent on the fact that Steelman doesn’t have any prior criminal convictions.

On Dec. 30, 2018, Police say Steelman and the victim were drinking with a friend on the 1000 block of Warren Street in Huntington before the victim fell asleep around 2:30 a.m. The victim told police she woke up around 3 a.m. with her pants down and Steelman standing over her, according to police reports.

The victim reportedly said she tried to pull away, but Steelman tried to pull her back toward him, which Steelman admitted to, according to the plea agreement.

The third person at the home said he was asleep during the incident but that no one at the home was black-out drunk.

The victim reported she had never been in a relationship, had consensual sex with Steelman or had any conversations with him in a sexual nature, saying she had told him in the past not to touch her when he was being flirtatious, according to police reports.

Steelman corroborated that information, saying the victim told him before that he is too touchy.

“Kaleb advised that he knows that (name redacted) will not have sex with anyone until she is married, and she has made that very clear,” detective Eric Fluck wrote in the police report.

Steelman complied with detectives during the investigation, never denying the allegations.

“Kaleb advised he told himself no but he did it anyway. Kaleb advised he had a really weird urge just to do it. Kaleb advised that he knows it is wrong and is confused to why he did it,” Fluck states in his report.

Police say Steelman said he hates himself for what he did and said he deserves to be punished, adding that he wrote an apology letter to the victim.

Although the group was drinking, Steelman told police he remembered what happened that night but said, “some was hazy,” according to police reports.

Level 3 felonies carry a possible sentence between three and 16 years, with the advisory sentence being nine years.