error trying to import é

I am trying to import data from text files and several of the files
contain accented e's.

I am reading the files through the File object. My MySQL db is setup
as UTF8. On Rails 2.0.2.

The error I get is "incorrect string value: '\xE9...' for column XXX

This would seem to indicate that the file did not open with the proper
encoding but I don't see anything in the File class that would let me
change that.

Anyone have any ideas?