Updated: 08/25/2014 11:42 PM
Created: 08/25/2014 10:00 PM WHEC.com
It happened in the heart of downtown on a quiet Saturday morning just before 8 a.m. A 14-year-old female was walking down Liberty Pole Way when she says she was attacked and sexually assaulted.
The victim was able to give police a description of the attacker and they quickly arrested 23-year old Michael Caruthers. Caruthers lists the Salvation Army half-way house on Liberty Pole way as his home address.
We looked into his background and according to the state Department of Corrections website, he had just been released from state prison on Friday -- just 24 hours before this latest arrest.
Caruthers had been in custody for the past two years for committing a robbery and was twice denied early release. But he was granted release on Friday in accordance with state law after serving two-thirds of his maximum sentence.
But one city leader is wondering if more could have been done to protect the 14-year-old girl who says Caruthers is the man who attacked and raped her.
“The city council is always worried about the safety of our streets. That’s one of our number one concerns,” said Elaine Spaull.
Spaull, the executive director of the Center of Youth and a city council member, has a lot of questions about the release of a parolee on the streets of Rochester; a man who, within hours of his release from state prison, is accused of a violent crime.
“At the end of the day, we have a child who has been hurt, a child who’s been harmed and our community is unsafe. That makes all of us very, very nervous both in my day job here at the Center for Youth and as a city council woman representing that section of the city,” said Spaull.
We’ve learned the first condition of parole is to “proceed directly to the area to which he had been released and within 24 hours make his arrival to the Office of the Division of Parole.” While Caruthers listed The Salvation Army address as his home address, an insider tells us Caruthers never checked in.
Caruthers parole records show he has a history of assault, drugs and theft related offenses.
“We don’t take any burden off the alleged perpetrator who was arrested or who has the right to be tried fairly, but we do say ‘what happened?’ Where did the system fall apart?” said Spaull.
We did try to reach the Salvation Army for more information about Caruthers, but they did not return our calls.
Caruthers is charged with rape, criminal sex act and criminal obstruction of breathing. When Caruthers was previously denied parole the board stated he was a danger to society, saying “past failure of parole supervision and continued disregard for the law.”