Kenneth Steele, a 62-year-old resident of Daytona North, or the Mondex, is at the Flagler County jail following an arrest on a rape charge involving a 31-year-old woman, who was unconscious at the time of the alleged assault.
The woman reported the incident to police on Nov. 23, when she called 911 that afternoon and said: “I think I was raped.”
Steele was still at the house where the alleged assault had taken place when deputies started the investigation that same afternoon, including a detective. The alleged victim “insisted that she believes she was sexually violated,” according to Steele’s arrest report, “but was adamant that she did not want to have a sexual assault kit completed on her,” because the more she was questioned, the worse she felt. Law enforcement officers, concerned about re-victimizing her, had her call someone who could come to pick her up.
A detective spoke with Steele in front of a house on Canal Avenue. He had no objections to speaking with police. He said he’d been in the house watching TV. He said something to the effect of a bedroom door being closed. It’s not clear if he was referring to the victim’s bedroom. The detective, who frequently investigates sex crimes, asked Steele if his DNA would be uncovered on the alleged victim. “You shouldn’t,” Steele told the detective.
But then Steele allegedly conceded: “It wasn’t consensual,” he is quoted as saying in his arrest report. (The interview was recorded.) He then asked the detective if he would be taken “downtown,” meaning to the sheriff’s office, and then said: “Yeah I took advantage of her, okay?” He said the victim had been drinking and he took advantage of her. “It was wrong,” he said: the victim was asleep and “did not wake up while they were having sex,” the report states.
Three people other than the victim and the alleged assailant had been around the house that day. The three had left the house at the time of the assault–they said they’d left Steele and the victim in the house for about an hour or two–returning to find the victim still asleep in her bed, with her pants pulled down. Steele was putting his shirt on when they returned home, they said.
Steele’s was the second arrest in five days in two unrelated allegations rape in Flagler County. Five days earlier, deputies arrested 20-year-old Stephen Connor Brady on a similar felony charge, involving an 18-year-old woman.
“This is the second sexual battery arrest in Flagler County in less than one week,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “Perpetrators must learn that ‘no’ means ‘no!’ Our victim advocates are available to the victim to assist her and so is the Family Life Center,” the Bunnell agency and shelter that cares for victims of sexual and domestic abuse.
Steele faces a second-degree felony charge of sexual battery. He’s faced several charges over the years, including retail theft and battery (dropped), tampering with a witness (dropped), and domestic battery (guilty, in 2014). He remains at the Flagler County jail on $7,500 bond.