State believes rapist, Saratoga Springs attempted kidnapper Regan has 'mental abnormality'

October 27, 2017 06:29 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - It's called the "Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act" and it was passed in 2007 to protect the public from offenders after they've served their time in prison.

People like John Regan, according to the agency trying to keep him confined. 

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Regan raped a Connecticut woman at gunpoint in 1993, and tried to kidnap a 17-year-old Saratoga Springs High School running star on Halloween 2005.

His attacks were the subject of a Dateline special called "Man Behind The Mask" because the rape went unsolved for 12 years.

In fact, Regan was out on bail in the Connecticut case when he came to Saratoga Springs and tried to kidnap.

He pleaded guilty in Saratoga County and served a 12-year sentence in Clinton Correctional in Dannemora.

He was supposed to be released Friday. However, that's where the state's civil confinement law comes in.

New York's Attorney General believes John Regan suffers from a "mental abnormality."

Here's how the state defines it:

"Mental abnormality" is a condition or disease that affects a person's capacity in a way that predisposes the individual to commit sex offenses and that causes that person to have serious difficulty in controlling that behavior.

According to the attorney general's website, the judge decides whether the sex offender is dangerous so as to be confined or the judge may release the offender to strict and intensive supervision and treatment.

It'll be up to a jury to decide if Regan is likely to attack again.

Either way, says highly regarded area attorney Paul DerOhannesian, the standard to prove Regan should stay locked up, is high.

"I think it's going to be a challenge, but what I don't know is what information they have about him that maybe we don't know."

DerOhannesian says the Regan case is emblematic of challenges the legal system faces when it comes to convicted criminals who have served their time.

"It typifies the problems we face with what to do with offenders and the challenges and struggles that society as well as the legal system, is facing."

NewsChannel 13 drove to Plattsburgh Friday afternoon to review the case file, only to find that the judge sealed it just before we got there, presumably to protect Regan's private mental health information.

Rachel Shippee, a spokesperson for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said Friday, "We don't comment on these types of cases."

However, an internet search revealed similar recent cases in which the attorney general's staff had provided comments to reporters who were covering them.


Mark Mulholland

Copyright 2017 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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