Convicted sex offender found guilty of rape, sodomy near Advance - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Convicted sex offender found guilty of rape, sodomy near Advance

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Steven Rendleman (Source: Stoddard County Sheriff's Department) Steven Rendleman (Source: Stoddard County Sheriff's Department)
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A convicted sex offender was found guilty in the 2012 kidnapping and rape near Advance.

Steve Rendleman was found guilty of kidnapping, forcible sodomy, and forcible rape.

It took the jury 40 minutes to come back with a guilty verdict. The case was moved to Franklin County on a change of venue request.

According to court papers, Rendleman left Charley Brown's Bar in Advance in March of 2012 with the victim in his truck, took her to a cemetery and raped her.

Rendleman has a history of sex assault convictions.

Rendleman had two prior rape convictions, but the jury didn’t know that because the judge wouldn’t allow that information to be revealed to them.

Because of his prior convictions, the only possible sentence available for Rendleman is life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to Stoddard County Prosecutor Russ Oliver.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 14.

According to court papers, it all started at Charley Brown's Bar in Advance. Authorities say Steve Rendleman, then 51, allegedly left with the victim in his truck, took her to a cemetery, and raped her.

"I think had it not been for deputies' good instincts to know where he might be headed it could have been worse. Those instincts could have saved her life," said Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner.

According to court papers, the woman became "incoherent and unconscious." Records state a bar employee removed her from the bar through the back door.

The bar owner's son told Heartland News that person was the bouncer. According to court papers, Rendleman helped the bouncer put the woman in a white Dodge truck. Apparently the woman's friends called police as soon as they realized she was with Rendleman.

"Being familiar with the suspect, my deputies knew a general area where he may be going," said Sheriff Hefner.

Authorities say Rendleman took the victim to Liberty Hill Cemetery, near his mother's home south of Advance.

"It's a very remote area," said Sheriff Hefner. "My deputies instinctively knew to go check the cemetery. She ran to the, ran to the patrol car and got in the back seat and told the deputy that she was being raped."

According to the probable cause statement, a sheriff's deputy caught Rendleman in the act at the cemetery.

From the cemetery, Sheriff Hefner says Rendleman didn't go quietly. He led deputies on a chase and allegedly tried to run them over.

The deputy fired seven rounds toward the truck's rear tires. As Rendleman left the cemetery, another deputy fired several rounds into the truck.

"He resisted arrest and locked the doors and windows. He put the truck in drive and tried to ram the deputies car," said Sheriff Hefner.

Rendleman led police on a high speed chase down County Road 219 and County Road 223 where the deputy found his truck in a pole barn, according to court documents. That's when Rendleman allegedly tried to hit the deputy's vehicle again with his truck and took off on County Road 223 through a flooded road where he got stuck.

The deputy broke the glass of his truck and as Rendleman reached for his glove compartment, the deputy used his Taser. When Rendleman refused to surrender, the deputy used the Taser again and Rendleman surrendered.

After deputies tasered Rendleman twice, records say he finally stated, 'I'm done."

Rendleman was arrested on charges of forcible rape - serious physical injury, forcible sodomy - causing serious physical injury, kidnapping - facilitating a felony, felonious restraint, two counts of attempted assault first degree on law enforcement officer, one count of first degree property damage and one count of resisting or interfering with felony arrest.

Rendleman was found guilty of rape in Cape Girardeau County in 1984, guilty of rape in Stoddard County in 1990, and pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct in Cape Girardeau County in 2009.

Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner says Rendleman is a registered sex offender out of Bollinger County. Hefner says Rendleman was released from prison a couple years ago.

Prosecutors call Rendleman a danger to society. He's being held without bond.

The victim was treated at a hospital and released.

Oliver says several people showed up to support the victim during the trial.

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