Metro-East News

Metro-east man sentenced to 40 years for sexual assault of a child

James A. Steele
James A. Steele

Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said an Alton man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday after he was convicted on sexual assault charges.

James A. Steele, 48, was found guilty by a Madison County jury in April on two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child. Steele was charged in 2013; the assault occurred in 2012. Associate Judge Neil Schroeder gave Steele two 20-year sentences to run consecutively.

Previous reports said Steele was accused of sexually assaulting his then-girlfriend’s 5-year-old daughter in 2012. The charges were brought after the child’s mother reported the allegations to the Alton Police Department.

Gibbons said Steele has been in custody at the Madison County Jail since being charged in May 2013. The state’s attorney said the defendant will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his sentences.

“The heinous actions by this man caused an immeasurable amount of suffering to this young victim, and now he will spend what we hope will be the rest of his life in prison,” Gibbons said Thursday.

The Children’s Justice Division, the Children’s Advocacy Center and local law enforcement assisted in the case.

Kaitlyn Schwers