Rockland County

Outrage Over Parole for Convicted Killer in 1980 Rape, Murder in Rockland County

Paula Bohovesky was killed following her after-school shift at the Pearl River Public Library on Oct. 28, 1980, in a crime that still haunts neighbors to this day

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Paula Bohovesky was 16 years old in 1980. She never got to see 17 — she was raped and murdered while walking home from the library.

One of her convicted killers was already released on parole, and now the second one is about to be sprung from prison. That has left Rockland County officials outraged, as they want to make sure he never returns to the scene of the crime.

Daniel Morrison lived next door to Bohovesky, 41 years ago. He was two years older than she was at the time, and said he remembers that night vividly.

"It still continues to be a devastating time. This was a very bright intelligent young lady who had a very big prosperous future ahead of her," Morrison said. "This should not have happened."

Bohovesky was killed following her after-school shift at the Pearl River Public Library on Oct. 28, in a crime that still haunts neighbors to this day.

Richard Labarbera and Robert McCain were both serving a life sentence for the teenager's murder. But now, both will be out on parole.

"McCain dragged Paula into the backyard of a house on Main Street, struck her in the head with a chunk of concrete, beat her, tried to assault her sexually," said New York State Assembly Member Mike Lawler, who represents Rockland County. "His partner in crime, Richard Labarbera also tried a sex act. And when Paula showed signs of life, he stabbed her repeatedly."

Lawler was joined by Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Sheriff Louis Falco on Thursday, as each denounced the parole board’s decision. They demanded that the board resign.

"I just don't think the parole board takes into account the impacts on society as a while, the victim, the victims' families, law enforcement," said Falco.

The New York State Department of Corrections told NBC New York that McCain was granted an open date, with the earliest release date of Aug. 3. They said he will be under community supervision for life, which is a monitoring program aimed at keeping victims and their families safe.

Labarbera was paroled in 2019. Falco said that a week after his release, Labarbera violated his parole and was put back in prison. He was given another chance after that.

"Years and years and years where opportunity was there to show remorse, to say something, to say something about the brutality that was inflicted on Paula, nothing was said," Day said, calling McCain "a monster who does not deserve to walk free." The convicted killer won parole on his 10th try.

Lawler said that they are fighting to "ensure that the conditions on Mr. McCain are such that he can never step foot here in Rockland County."

The parole board says the community supervision program will monitor McCain, who’s now 60. Assemblyman Lawler meanwhile is proposing "Paula's law," which would ensure that anyone who sexually assaults and murders a child under 18 would never be eligible for parole.

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