Man serving life term back in Jacksonville to face additional rape charge

Rape kit tested in 2017 links James Steel to 2005 sexual assault

By Frank Powers - Assignment manager

Convicted rapist James Steel, who is back in the Duval County jail after being charged in a 2005 kidnapping and sexual battery.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - James Steel, called the Arlington rapist after he was charged in a series of sexual assaults in 2009, was brought from state prison back to the Duval County jail to face an additional charge.

Steel was tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison for a 2008 rape. At the time, he was facing charges in several other attacks, but they were eventually dropped. Now 58, Steel is now facing a charge for a kidnapping and rape in 2005.

This case, a result of an old rape kit processed in 2017, a woman was kidnapped at the Greyhound station downtown, taken to a nearby church and sexually assaulted.

After he arrested in the 2008 case, police said James Steel had targeted and attacked women in the Arlington area for nine years. In one case, he raped a woman in a cemetery on Lone Star Road. In another case, police said he attacked a woman on the Arlington Expressway and forced her into a church parking lot.

In most of the attacks, police said Steel threatened the women with a knife and force them to do unspeakable things. Sometimes he would also rob them, police said.

Prior to his arrest on rape charges, Steel had been arrested on a variety of charges ranging from robbery and drugs to flashing in public. 

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