Girl adopted by Earl and Tammy Steidl

8-year-old girl adopted by Earl and Tammy Steidl was sexually abused by her adoptive father, while being physically abused by her adoptive mother. Earl Steidl was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Date: 2003-06-00
Placement type: Adoption
Type of abuse: Non-lethal physical abuse, Sexual abuse
Abuser: Adoptive father, Adoptive mother


Medina, Ohio
United States
See map: Google Maps
DocumentDatesort icon
STATE v. STEIDL2011-05-16
Woman sentenced to jail in abuse case2009-05-14
Man pleads not guilty to rape charge2008-09-23
Area man charged with evidence tampering2008-08-30

Guilty pleas and bargains

Some cases are more difficult to read than others.

For instance, some cases present themselves in a way that I can understand how/why an Aparent is not a monster, but rather a misguided person who made a very sad mistake.  The case of Casey "C.J." Elgie, and conviction of Jessica Vitale-Elgie comes to mind.  "CJ" ingested a detergent/bleach solution while he was being disciplined.  He collapsed six hours later, and died the next day.  The final verdict went as follows:  

Jessica Vitale-Elgie on Thursday was found not guilty of criminally negligent homicide but convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment in the death of her 5-year-old son three years ago.

State Supreme Court Justice Joseph S. Forma, who completed a nonjury trial a week ago, stressed the lack of physical evidence and the testimony of Vitale-Elgie's estranged husband in finding her not guilty of the felony charge. It carried a possible four-year prison term.

In convicting her of the misdemeanor, the judge cited the testimony of former Amherst Police Capt. Joseph B. Scioli that Vitale-Elgie belatedly admitted she should have called doctors or 911 when her son became violently ill after ingesting laundry detergent.

Forma allowed Vitale-Elgie, 39, to remain free on $2,500 bail pending her Jan. 8 sentencing.

Vitale-Elgie currently is on a paid leave from her job as a special-education teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools.

She was indicted about 18 months after Casey Elgie died, late on Aug. 31, 2000.

According to evidence and testimony, Casey died about 10 hours after he ingested detergent she had left in a bucket to soak laundry at the family's Amherst home.

She pleaded guilty Dec. 2, but withdrew the plea in March after being told by another judge that she faced a state prison term.

[From:  Mother Convicted On Lesser Charge, 2003]

Then there is a case like this double-whammie sexually and physically abusive Ahome situation.  The child was 8.  The sexual abuser weighed over 700 pounds.

At first the Aparent presented the court with a not-guilty pleas to counts of rape, gross sexual imposition and tampering with evidence.  Three years later, it was decided he was guilty of the crimes, but he did not go away...without his appeals...

Earl Steidl sexually abused his adopted daughter. He pleaded guilty to one count of rape, two counts of gross sexual imposition, and one count of tampering with evidence. The trial court sentenced him to the maximum prison term for each conviction and ordered the terms for the rape and gross sexual imposition convictions to run consecutively to each other and concurrently with his tampering with evidence conviction for a total of 20 years imprisonment. We affirm the judgment of the trial court as it did not err by sentencing Mr. Steidl to the maximum period of incarceration for each offense, by ordering some of the prison terms to be served consecutively, or by reading letters sent by Mr. Steidl's siblings to the court.

Mr. Steidl was indicted on one count of rape of a child under the age of ten, two counts of gross sexual imposition of a child under the age of thirteen, and one count of tampering with evidence. At the time Mr. Steidl allegedly committed the acts with which he was charged, Section 2907.02(B) of the Ohio Revised Code imposed a life sentence for rape of a child under the age of ten. Plea negotiations led to count one of the indictment being altered to charge one count of rape of a child under the age of thirteen, which eliminated the requirement for a life sentence. He then pleaded guilty to all four counts.

[From:  STATE v. STEIDL]

Because he plead guilty to sex with a minor under the age of 13, (not 10), he was spared a more harsh sentence.

It amazes and disgusts me what a difference three years can make in the life of a criminal and a victim.  

Mr. Steidl has argued that, even if the trial court considered the factors in Section 2929.12 of the Ohio Revised Code, it abused its discretion in "maxing and stacking" his sentences. He has argued that he has shown genuine remorse, has lived as a law abiding citizen for a number of years, has not been convicted or pleaded guilty to any other criminal offense, and his offenses were committed under circumstances unlikely to reoccur. These are all factors under Section 2929.12(E) that demonstrate that he is not likely to commit future crimes.

[State v. Steidl]

"Not likely to commit future (sex) crimes".

I must repeat... some cases are more difficult to read than others.


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