16-year-old's killer back in jail after parole violation

Richard LaBarbera, who murdered 16-year-old Paula Bohovesky in 1980, is back in jail for violating the conditions of his parole, authorities confirmed to Fox News.

LaBarbera’s controversial early release from prison in early July sparked pushback from the community and the Bohovesky family. The 66-year-old LaBarbera served had 38 years in prison after being sentenced to 25 years to life.

In a statement, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said: “Parolee Richard LaBarbera has violated the conditions of his parole, in an important respect, however has not committed a new crime. He is currently incarcerated at the Erie County Jail. A hearing before an administrative law judge will be scheduled to address his violations.”

It was not known at the time of publication what specific violation led to his rearrest.

Robert McCain, left, and Richard LaBarbera.

Robert McCain, left, and Richard LaBarbera.

LaBarbera and a cohort, Robert McCain, sexually assaulted and killed Bohovesky. The pair were sitting at a bar when the saw the teen walking home. They attacked her just blocks from her family’s home.

It was then that McCain hit Bohovesky in the head with concrete and began allegedly sexually assaulting her. When LaBarbera began to take advantage of the girl after McCain, she stirred. He then stabbed her repeatedly – killing her.

“I want to express my gratitude to the parole officers in Erie County for keeping a close watch on Richard LaBarbera and doing what the New York State Parole Board failed to do; keeping this child killer in jail," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said in a statement. "This monster 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.”

Paula Bohovesky, 16, in an undated photo.

Paula Bohovesky, 16, in an undated photo. (Bohovesky family photo)

The decision by the parole board resulted in lawsuits and condemnation. The Bohovesky family and a nonprofit organization filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court asking that LaBarbera be given another hearing with all board members present.

They also asked him to be kept five counties from Pearl River, N.Y., where he murdered Bohovesky, to protect her mother.


In the end, LaBarbera was granted his freedom – and was required to be three counties from Rockland County and Pearl River.

“I’m not surprised,” Lois Bohovesky, the 87-year-old mother of Paula, told The Journal News. “I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly.”

The release of LaBarbera even drew the ire of former New York Gov. George Pataki, who came out against his parole.


“I have been very careful about not commenting on state government policies since I left office,” Pataki told Fox News when his parole was being considered. “But this release of this rapist and murderer is so hideous to me, I really feel an obligation to speak out so that first, hopefully, it won't happen, but if it sadly does, that it won't happen again.”

Although the state board chose to grant LaBarbera his freedom, however brief it was before his arrest, it opted not to do the same for his accomplice, McCain. Members cited public outcry as playing a role in the decision.