Man pleads not guilty to rape charge

Date: 2008-09-23

By ALLISON WOOD

MEDINA - A Montville Township man accused of raping an 8-year-old girl in 2003 pleaded not guilty Monday to counts of rape, gross sexual imposition and tampering with evidence.

Earl Steidl, 42, of 4417 Sharon Copley Road, is charged with one count of rape (under age 10), and two counts of gross sexual imposition, third-degree felonies, for incidents that allegedly occurred in June 2003.

He also is charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, for allegedly throwing away a memory card from a digital camera that reportedly contained evidence of a sexual offense, Montville Township police records show.

Police reported Steidl, who was arrested at his residence on Aug. 28, threw the card away at a local business.

Steidl weighs more than 700 pounds, which made it difficult for sheriff's deputies to transport him to the courtroom, located on the second floor of the Medina County Courthouse.

Steidl is out of the Medina County Jail after posting $100,000 bond last month. A trial is scheduled for December.

He is prohibited from having contact with anyone younger than age 18 as a condition of his bond.

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