Rochester, N.Y. - Sex offender John Horace could be released from prison in March, even though the parole board opposed that release only 6 months ago.
“You clearly failed to benefit from prior rehabilitative efforts,” the board said in a decision made after the hearing which was held July 24, 2012.
Horace will be released because of sentencing laws from the 1990’s which make him eligible for conditional release after serving two-thirds of his sentence. He was originally sentenced to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison for rape.
The victim, a 29 year old woman in a vegetative state, gave birth to a boy before she died in 1997. Horace worked at the nursing home where she lived.
In a prison interview in 2004, Horace told 13WHAM News he raped the woman because he was a sex therapist and wanted to bring her out of her coma. “I thought there was something I could do to bring this lady back to a normal state of life,” he said.
He was later convicted of charges related to acting as a sex therapist and gynecologist even though he was not licensed to do so and only had a GED.
“He was holding himself out as a gynecologist and doing exams on women and holding himself out as a sex therapist in a deviate manner, accessing women for his own sexual gratification,” said Mary Randall, an assistant prosecutor with the Monroe County District Attorneys Office.
Last July, Horace apologized to the parole board. “I violated and disrespected the law because I was trying to be someone I was not, a physician,” states the hearing transcript. “Every day of my life I am regretful of the harm I have caused others,” he adds.
The board denied parole but seven months later they no longer have a voice. In the eyes of New York State Horace has served his time.
“Of course there are flaws in the system,” said Randall.
Efforts are now underway to keep him in prison and to protect the community if that cannot be done.
Prosecutors want to combat the old sentencing laws with a new law that allows for civil confinement of sex offenders after a sentence is served and if they are deemed dangerous.
“That would be my hope,” said Randall. “That there would be civil commitment paperwork filed to at least hold this guy who we obviously deem a very dangerous sexual predator.”
Civil commitment requires a recommendation from the Office of Mental Health. After that a new trial is held.
It is unclear whether that process has been initiated but without it Horace could be released as early as March 4th.
In a Friday court appearance, a judge ruled that if Horace is released he will have to register as a level two sex offender which means he must check in with police every 90 days.
"The difference between a level two and a level one is quite significant," said Randall.