A man serving a life term for a brutal rape in Springfield who previously plotted an escape from prison was recently denied parole for the second time, records show.
The Massachusetts Parole Board ruled in a three-page decision earlier this month that Michael J. Person, 50, should remain locked up for the 1990 attack, in which he dragged a 20-year-old woman to a field, cut her with a knife, and repeatedly raped her.
The decision said Person, who was denied parole once before in 2008, acknowledged during his December hearing before the board that he pleaded guilty, but he was highly intoxicated during the attack and has no memory of it.
“They told me there was a knife, but I was drunk and didn’t see a weapon,” Person, who had no lawyer or supporters at the hearing, told the board.
He also said, when asked if he understood the board’s concerns that he discontinued sex offender treatment, “to be honest with you, I don’t know,” the ruling said.
Person is currently incarcerated at Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum security prison in Shirley. He has wracked up serious disciplinary infractions behind bars, according to the ruling.
In one instance, he authored “a letter about two inmates that conspired to sexually assault a female staff member,” the decision said. In another case, Person received a disciplinary report for “fabricating claims regarding sexual misconduct of staff members, as well as plans to escape from the institution.”
But Person denied wrongdoing in those matters, telling the board that he was “set up; it never happened,” the ruling said.
Person will come before the board again in five years. The panel encouraged him in the ruling to “continue working towards his full rehabilitation,” including participating in sex offender treatment.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.