Rapist returns with parole request
- Mara Stine
- Gresham Outlook - News
Victims convinced he will re-offend, take crimes to 'next level'
East Multnomah County's notorious serial rapist is making a new request for parole.
Richard Troy Gillmore, 52, the 'Jogger Rapist,' is scheduled for a hearing before the State Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision on Wednesday, June 13.
June 6 also is the deadline by which the public must apply to attend Gillmore's parole hearing, set for 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 13, at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem. To apply, call 503-945-0902.
His victims - nine in total, including two girls who were just 13 when he broke into their homes and raped them - and others who oppose his release say he's a manipulative, dangerous pedophile who belongs behind bars.
Gillmore, however, in his most recent parole plan, describes himself as a Christian capable of being a responsible and law-abiding citizen thanks to self-help books, support groups and prison treatment programs.
'The single most important aspect of my (relapse prevention) plan is that I will never again commit a sexual offense,' he wrote in his 10-page parole plan.
Two psychologists who evaluated Gillmore in March disagree on whether he is still dangerous and should remain in prison, according to a letter written to the parole board by an attorney representing the family of one of Gillmore's victims, Tiffany Edens.
One psychologist, despite prior findings that Gillmore was still dangerous, now says Gillmore is no longer a threat to the health and safety of others, calling on his 'extensive efforts at rehabilitation,' according to the attorney's letter.
The same psychologist recently diagnosed Gillmore with a personality disorder with narcissistic and anti-social features.
Yet another psychologist says Gillmore 'would continue to be a danger to the community if he were to be paroled at this time.'
The psychologist noted Gillmore's 'poor impulse control' and that he 'still feels he is without fault.'
Gillmore 'portrayed himself as being relatively free of common shortcomings to which others would readily admit,' according to the letter. 'He was reluctant to recognize faults or problems in himself.'
Colleen Kelly, 45, who Gillmore raped 32 years ago after breaking into the 13-year-old girl's East Multnomah County home, says his words are empty.
'He has not changed,' Kelly said. 'He is just telling the members of the parole board what they want to hear. But he is a serial pedophile rapist. He will reoffend and when he does, we believe he will take it to the next level.'
Kelly and another victim, Danielle Tudor, 49, whom Gillmore raped when she was 17, plan to attend his parole hearing. But both say Department of Justice staffers have told them they can't testify: According to new parole board rules, Kelly and Tudor do not meet the revised definition of victim because Gillmore was not convicted of their rapes, only that of 13-year-old Tiffany Edens.
Edens was doing her chores when Gillmore broke into her Troutdale home and raped her in December 1986.
After his arrest, police connected him to eight other sexual attacks in the Portland area in the 1970s and '80s. Detectives called him the 'Jogger Rapist' because he hunted, stalked and raped his victims while jogging.
But Gillmore wasn't convicted for the other rapes. The crimes were too old under what was then Oregon's three-year statute of limitations.
A judge presiding over Edens' case, however, took the other victims into consideration and sentenced Gillmore to 60 years in prison, with a 30-year minimum.
Less than a year after being convicted of raping Edens, a parole board cut Gillmore's sentence in half.
The parole board rejected Gillmore's requests for release in 2001, 2003 and 2005.
But in 2007, it approved paroling Gillmore - but did not notify Edens of his request for release. Edens demanded a second hearing. Despite her testimony, and finding that Gillmore remained a danger to the community, the parole board again agreed to release Gillmore on the grounds that he could be adequately controlled with supervision and treatment in the community.
Outraged, Edens became the public face of his victims and waged a high-profile battle to block his release. She and the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office sued the board to stop Gillmore's release. A Marion County judge ruled that the board committed several errors, including failing to give Edens proper notice about hearings and failing to provide a full written explanation for its decision to free Gillmore.
A new parole hearing resulted from an out-of-court settlement. After the daylong hearing in June 2008, the board reversed its previous approvals and denied Gillmore's request for parole.
The case sparked a review of the parole board's procedures by a committee including victim advocates, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys and others. They recommended changes, including better communication between the parole board and victims.
In light of the case, state legislators also removed the state's statute of limitations on rape cases in which DNA evidence is a factor.
But the ordeal took a heavy emotional toll on Edens. When he requested a parole hearing in 2010, she deferred to Kelly and Tudor to take up the fight. She is doing the same thing with this month's hearing, said her mother, Rebecca Edens-Ahsing.
To that end, Edens-Ahsing is asking the board for a respite of reliving the trauma Gillmore has inflicted on his victims and their families. She is asking the board to deny Gillmore's parole for 10 years. Otherwise, he can come before the board with another parole request every two years.
'In doing so, the board would grant the victims some peace, and the community some security, and it would be appropriate under the circumstances,' wrote Rosemary Brewer, an attorney representing Edens' parents. 'Mr. Gillmore remains a dangerous sexual predator and should not be released into the community. His risk of reoffending is significant, creating too great a risk to the community.'
Gillmore's parole plan lists steps he intends to take to avoid relapsing if he is paroled. Steps include finding housing and a job, completing a sex-offender treatment program, daily contact with a support group, joining a church and 'living a responsible life one day at a time.'
He asserts that prison life and support groups have helped him develop empathy for his victims.
'My experience in prison can never be compared to what it must be like to be raped by a stranger, yet I do know what it is like to be under the threat of death, physically abused, depressed, feeling helpless and afraid,' he wrote.
'The big difference is my experience comes because of the crimes I committed, while their experiences are due to my crimes against them.'