Saratoga Springs attempted kidnapper to get out early and likely back to Saratoga County

August 22, 2017 06:21 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - When John Regan drove from Connecticut to Saratoga Springs on Halloween 2005 and tried to kidnap a star runner on the cross country team, it was his last crime.

But it wasn't his first.

In 1993, Regan donned a mask, broke into the home of a Connecticut woman, put a gun to her head, tied her up, and raped her.

Because police in Waterbury initially botched the case, even accusing the victim of making it up, Regan wasn't caught until 2004 when his DNA was taken during another case.

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But it was too late to prosecute Regan for the rape because at the time of the attack, Connecticut had a five year statute of limitations on sexual assault cases.

So he could only be charged with kidnapping.

While that case was being decided, Regan was out on bail. 

And on that Halloween in 2005 he drove to Saratoga Springs and tried to shove Lindsey Ferguson into his van outside Saratoga Springs High School.

There were tarps, a shovel and ropes inside the van.

Police and prosecutors believe he intended to rape and kill.

"It's still very much in everyone's heads that worked that case and the circumstances around it," said Saratoga Springs Police Lt. Bob Jillson.

John Regan pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping in Saratoga County with the understanding that he'd get 12 years in a New York prison and then when he was done, he'd serve three more years in Connecticut for what he did to Donna Palomba.

"I was absolutely guaranteed that he would do his Connecticut sentence," said Palomba, who started a foundation called Jane Doe No More which advocates on behalf of victims of sexual assault and led the successful effort to remove the statute of limitations on Connecticut cases that have DNA evidence.

When John Regan is released from Dannemora on October 27, he walks out a free man, three years early.

There was a loophole on the books in Connecticut that allowed him to accumulate statutory good time.

"So he was able to rack up 1472 days off his Connecticut sentence without my knowledge," Palomba said Tuesday. "What is happening right now is re-victimization."

And here's the part most frightening to the people impacted by Regan's attack in Saratoga Springs.

It appears, he'll be living here.

Because he doesn't have another place to go, he'll likely be put up, at taxpayers' expense at a motel just south of the city.

When asked what advice she has for the people of Saratoga County, Palomba says, "This is a very dangerous man. I do think it's very important to remain vigilant."

John Regan's New York sentence also calls for 5 years of post release supervision so it's expected that parole officers will be keeping a very close eye on him.

More information about Jane Doe No More:



Mark Mulholland

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