A Madison County jury is sending an Alton man to prison after finding him guilty of two counts of Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault of a Child. 48-year-old James A. Steele was found guilty Thursday after the jury deliberated for about 90 minutes. His victim was 5-years-old at the time of the crimes in December of 2012 when he was in a relationship with her mother.
The mother reported Steele to Alton Police, which initiated an investigation. Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons tells The Big Z the testimony of the victim played an important part in convicting Steele.
Click here for Gibbons' comments
Sentencing will come in 6-8 weeks. The normal penalty range for a Class X felony is 6-30 years in prison, but Steele could be eligible for an extended sentence of 12-60 years due to the circumstances of the case.