Lima woman pleads guilty in rape involving child

September 12, 2012

LIMA A woman facing the possibility of life in prison struck a deal with a prosecutor Wednesday to avoid that potential fate.

Trisha L. Steele, 31, pleaded guilty to one count of rape. In exchange for the plea, the prosecution dropped the life specification on the charge and two other counts of rape. She faced the possible life specification because the case involved a child under the age of 10.

She is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 1.

As part of the deal, Steele agreed to cooperate with the prosecution in the case against her co-defendant, William Purdy, 38. Purdy is charged with six counts of rape with life specifications and two counts of gross sexual imposition.

Purdy is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 22. He has a final pretrial hearing scheduled for Sept. 25.

The charge alleges the rape of a girl under the age of 10 during a period from Jan. 28, 2005, to Oct. 25, 2005, according to court records.