A truck driver trainer who was convicted of sexually assaulting one of his female students at a driver training facility has been issued a prison sentence.
On Monday, May 6, former CR England driver trainer Thorpe Steele, 55, was sentenced to five years to life in prison in a Salt Lake County, Utah, district court following his conviction on charges of first-degree felony rape and first-degree felony forcible sodomy, according to reporting from St. George News.
Steele was arrested by Utah state troopers in February 2018 during a routine inspection at the Utah/Arizona port of entry after officers discovered that he had two outstanding warrants for rape charges.
Those charges stemmed from a police report made in October 2017 by a unnamed woman who had trained under Steele at the CR England facility in Salt Lake County.
According to a probable cause statement from West Valley City Police, on July 3, 2017, Steele was showing a female trainee the inside of his truck. After reportedly telling the woman “What happens in the truck stays in the truck” and mentioning that he was armed with knives, the woman says Steele forced his hands into her pants, forced her to undress while telling her that “no was not an option” and then sexually assaulted her in the sleeper berth.
Steele maintained that the sex was consensual. He has 30 days to appeal the sentence.