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Convicted rapist Ben LaGuer, recently released on medical parole, sent back to prison

Benjamin LaGuer listened to his attorney in court in 2010 at a parole board hearing.Adam Hunger/AP/file 2010

Benjamin LaGuer, the convicted rapist who maintained his innocence for decades and was released on medical parole last month, was arrested Tuesday for alleged parole violations, according to authorities.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for the state parole board, confirmed the arrest in a statement.

“Benjamin LaGuer was returned to custody today following violations of his conditions of release,” the statement said. "These violations continued despite warnings and other graduated sanctions. Parole revocation proceedings will be scheduled in the weeks to come.”

Parole officials said the alleged violations did not include any new criminal charges and authorities often seek graduated sanctions for infractions such as warnings, mandatory meetings with parole officers, and house arrest before seeking revocation. LaGuer was sent to the North Central Correctional Institute in Gardner, authorities said.

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A lawyer for LaGuer couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The Massachusetts Parole Board last month set a number of conditions on his release. He must be at home between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., be outfitted with electronic monitoring, and stay away from the late victim’s family or any prosecution witness, officials said at the time.

LaGuer, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a Leominster neighbor in 1983, is dying of liver cancer, his lawyers have said. In January, he asked a Worcester Superior Court judge to reverse Department of Correction Commissioner Carol A. Mici’s decision that he remained a threat to public safety and did not qualify for medical parole.

"I do not believe that, at this time, he will live and remain at liberty without violating the law and I continue to believe that his release will be incompatible with the welfare of society,'' Mici wrote.

Her denial cited medical data from last year and as recent as Jan. 2. But in a more recent review of his medical status, Dr. Kevan Hartshorn, his treating oncologist/hematologist at Boston Medical Center, said LaGuer’s outlook was grim.

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“His survival now is measured in weeks or at best a few months," Hartshorn wrote in a Jan. 9 letter. “It is unlikely that further treatments can be safely given or will help to control the cancer ... there is little we can do now and his survival is now very limited... he is now appropriate for home hospice care.”

Hartshorn has been treating LaGuer for liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver for several years.

During his long incarceration, LaGuer has consistently maintained his innocence and drawn prominent supporters to his cause, including former governor Deval Patrick and John Silber, the late president of Boston University.

But courts — including the Supreme Judicial Court — have consistently upheld his convictions for the July 1983 attack on a 59-year-old woman that lasted for hours and left her apartment covered in blood. The woman, who identified LaGuer to police and on the witness stand during his trial, has since died.

LaGuer’s claim of innocence was also undermined when he admitted in 2003 that he mixed a forensic saliva sample with another inmate’s so he could not be matched to biological evidence recovered at the scene, and by DNA testing in 2002 that matched his semen to that found at the crime scene.

LaGuer has insisted the sperm sample was planted by police.


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Martin finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.