Convicted rapist on parole
Posted at: 03/05/2013 12:03 PM
| Updated at: 03/05/2013 6:08 PM
By: Berkeley Brean | WHEC.com
A man who raped and impregnated a woman in a coma is a free man and the former prosecutor who put him in prison can't understand why.
John Horace was convicted of raping a woman known only as Cathy. She was living in a nursing home where Horace worked. Horace spent 17 years behind bars, that was two thirds of his sentence and under New York State law, he had to be released.
There was no way the state could keep John Horace locked up in prison.
He served his time the way the law says. But there's something in New York called civil confinement. It's a way to hold sex offenders in a psychiatric hospital after they get out prison. State parole says Horace is likely to break the law again, but the Office of Mental Health decided he was free to go.
John Horace walking out of the state parole office downtown Tuesday.
Jerry Solomon, former prosecutor, said, “I certainly always felt that he was a sexual predator and there is a likelihood that he will offend again.”
Jerry Solomon was the prosecutor in the case. He still has a picture of the press conference after Horace's conviction on his office wall. News10NBC asked him if he thinks Horace should be a free man.
Solomon said, “Anytime someone like John Horace is out on the street, I know he's done his time but his history is that of a sexual predator and I think everyone should be concerned.”
This is what state parole thinks. In its final hearing with Horace last year, the board said they didn't think he could be free "without again violating the law" and that his release is not good for the "welfare of society." Like all convicted sex offenders, Horace was evaluated by the Office of Mental Health to see if he should be civilly confined after he got out of prison. Despite the state parole opinion, the evaluation team said no.
News10NBC asked the Office of Mental Health why. It said, in an email, that it "cannot comment on any individual case due to privacy protections."
Solomon said, “Hopefully he's learned his lesson and he's done his time and has been rehabilitated. But I certainly wouldn't want members of my family hanging out with him, that's for sure.”
News10NBC look at the numbers at the Office of Mental Health. Only a fraction of rapists who get out of prison get civilly confined. Horace was convicted of rape. He is a registered sex offender and has to report where he lives. That information is on the state sex offender registry. For a link, click here.
If he violates any of the rules set down by parole, he could go back to prison for at least another couple of years.