Man convicted in 1980 murder of Pearl River teen granted parole
One of two men convicted in the 1980 killing of a Pearl River teenager has been granted parole.
Robert McCain and Richard LaBarbera were convicted in the murder of 16-year-old Paula Bohovesky.
Back in October of 1980, Bohovesky was walking home from the Pearl River Library when she was attacked, sexually assaulted and fatally stabbed by two men.
The now 60-year-old McCain was interviewed earlier this month by the parole board and will be allowed to be released as early as Aug. 3, two days after Bohovesky's birthday. Once released, he will be under community supervision for the rest of his life.
LaBarbera was released on parole in 2019 but was arrested and sent back to prison after violating his parole. He was released again in July 2020.
Bohovesky's mother was too upset to speak with News 12, but family advocate John Murphy said she is crushed by the decision.
"It wasn't just a murder. It was a cruel animalistic attempt to rape a 16-year-old child, and he's never been remorseful, he's never apologized, he's never regretted it and here he is walking free. Our justice system should not release into the population somebody who commits a heinous crime of murder and attempted rape," Murphy said.
Local lawmakers are working on a bill called Paula's Law to stop this from happening again. The bill would force anyone who sexually assaults and kills a child under the age of 18 to spend the rest of their life in prison if convicted.
Meantime, Rockland County Executive Ed Day released a statement that reads, "Robert McCain, the initial assailant of Paula Bohovesky, is a monster who does not deserve to walk free on our streets while our community still suffers from the loss and pain he caused. He committed murder, a crime of permanency, and should be permanently in jail. I find it extremely disturbing that a man who has expressed no remorse and has never taken responsibility for his crimes is given more latitude than the victim of those heinous acts. Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Parole Board has slapped the people of New York State and Rockland County in the face. I urge the Parole Board to restrict McCain from ever setting foot in Rockland County, and I pray that he is closely monitored so that no further innocents are harmed by this monster."
Assemblyman Mike Lawler also released a statement. It reads, “This is disgusting behavior, once again, from the Governor’s hand-picked Parole Board," said Lawler. "They should all resign in disgrace — allowing unrepentant child rapists and murderers to walk free. Robert McCain and Richard LaBarbera deserved to rot in prison for their horrific and brutal murder of Paula. That’s why I’ve introduced Paula’s Law, which would guarantee a life sentence without parole for anyone that sexually assaults and kills a child under the age of 18. The fact that Robert McCain and Richard LaBarbera are walking free makes me sick to my stomach."