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Convicted rapist/killer will stay in prison for additional 5 years

Waterbury - Nothing that convicted rapist/killer Edward F. Boyle said during his parole hearing Friday morning would convince a three-member panel to give him another chance at freedom.

The board voted to extend his incarceration by five years, bringing tears of joy to the relatives of homicide victim Louisa Scott.

Boyle, 50, had served 20 years in prison for the strangling death of 20-year-old Scott in Columbia and for five rapes he committed in Manchester in the 1970s and 1980.

He served another five-year stint for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old in Groton. He was released in November 2009 under a strict form of supervison known as special parole, and within 15 months, was charged with violating his parole on Feb. 16, 2011 and sent back to prison. He had been charged with several offenses, including going out of the range of his GPS tracking device and missing a sexual offender treatment session.

In his pitch to the board Friday, Boyle said he had been doing his best to live "in the world" after spending so much of his life in prison. He had been living and working in Hartford. He explained he forgot his GPS unit on the day in question and said he thought he was allowed to miss a treatment session as long as he called to report his absence.

He spoke of the stresses of life and denied he had anything but platonic and innocent relationships with a woman he met and a teenage girl he knew.

"I just don't see where you have a leg to stand on," said Foye Smith of Hartford, a parole board member.

The panel voted unanimously to deny Boyle parole but was divided on how long to keep him locked away. Smith wanted to keep Boyle in prison until 2024, when his 15-year special parole term expires, but was outnumbered by the other board members, Eric Crawford of Hartford and Julia Wasserman of Sandy Hook. They decided Boyle will be eligible for parole again in October 2016.

The parole board had convened the hearing in April, but continued it to Friday so members could gather more information about the Boyle and his criminal history. Based on their comments at the hearing, it was apparent the panel had delved deeply, studying court documents and materials that parole officers had gathered, including text messages and letters sent by Boyle.

One piece of evidence was a sentencing transcript from 2006 during which Superior Court Judge Susan B. Handy told Boyle he was a sexual predator who should be locked up forever, but that he was getting a reduced sentence because the teenage girl he had sexually assaulted was too fragile to testify at trial.

"When I read the transcript, the judge was very upset," Smith said. "The last thing they wanted to do was let you out, ever."

Louisa Scott's relatives attended the hearing, which was conducted via video feed between the Board of Pardons and Paroles in Waterbury and the Brooklyn Correctional Institution.

While the board members were unmoved by Boyle's plea for leniency, everything he said made Scott's sister and brothers seethe with an anger that remains raw 31 years after her death.

Three siblings and a niece who carries Louisa's first name, but never met her, wore memorial T-shirts imprinted with a photograph of the smiling brunette. They cried continuously as they watched her killer, a bearded and ponytailed man in prison tans, try to talk his way out of prison.

Though parole board member Julia Wasserman asked Boyle to describe his crimes and to "be specific," Boyle did not mention Scott. Earlier in the hearing, he admitted only to raping two women, but when pressed, conceded he had pleaded guilty to five sexual assaults.

Scott's family bristled when, asked by Wasserman a second time to explain what he'd done, Boyle respond, "The women I've raped, the physical harm I've caused them, for me it doesn't get much worse than that."

"It gets much worse," said Scott's brother, Timothy Scott. He said the siblings had promised their mother they would keep track of Boyle's whereabouts and added that it is not about Louisa Scott anymore, but about the safety of young women such as a 14-year-old to whom Boyle had written a letter deemed inappropriate by parole officials.

"I have no doubt Mr. Boyle will offend again," said Scott's brother, Timothy Scott. "Fortunately it's put back until 2016."

Boyle committed a series of rapes in Manchester in the 1970s and 1980, forcing women off the street at knifepoint and raping them, according to court records. He strangled Scott and dumped her body near a river in Coventry.

He was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter for killing Scott because the state lacked the evidence to secure a more punitive murder conviction. He was released from prison in 1999 for all of those crimes.

In 2004 he was charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old Groton girl whose family had befriended him.

This time he was offered a plea deal because the teenage victim was considered too fragile to testify. The sentence included the 15 years of special parole and, upon his release in 2009, parole officers monitored every aspect of his life.

k.florin@theday.com

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