SALEM, Ore. – Richard Gillmore, the so-called jogger rapist, told a state parole board Tuesday that 21 years in prison have changed him and made him less of a danger to society.
"I'm living my life right," the 48-year-old told the three-member board. "People say there's no cure for sex offenses. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. I know there's room for recovery … I have recovered from this."
Gillmore was convicted in the 1986 rape of then 13-year-old Tiffany Edens and was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. Though he admitted to at least eight other attacks, he could not be charged because of the statute of limitations.
Prosecutors said Gillmore terrorized Southeast Portland between 1979 and 1981, selecting victims while he was out jogging and then returning to attack them in the dark when he knew they were alone.
Last fall, the board OK'd his release nine years early, but that decision was blocked after Edens filed a lawsuit against the board, claiming it repeatedly denied her opportunities to protest Gillmore's release. A Marion County judge decided the board should conduct a new parole consideration hearing that allowed Edens to participate.
She was one of 11 people expected to testify before the parole board on Tuesday.
Gillmore spoke first, admitting how he broke into the southeast Portland home of Edens and raped her.
"I was only interested in getting my needs met," he told the board. "I really couldn't see her as a person 'cause there was no self respect in my own life. I really didn't have a lot of self respect for other people."
He said there were many problems in his life then, problems that have since vanished, and he has grown while behind bars.
"The best measurement of my character today is how I conduct myself in this institution," he said.
Edens, as well as members of her family, begged the parole board not to release Gillmore. She talked about the devastating effects the rape has had on her life and on the lives of her family members.
Edens said state psychological exams show that Gillmore could reoffend and has a lot of anger toward women - with any hint of rejection possibly leading him to act aggressively. Edens also does not think Gillmore is sorry for what he did.
"I don't think he gets it," she said, choking back tears. "I still don't think he really understands what the effects are."
The parole board was not expected to make a decision Tuesday. Instead it is soliciting written comments for a week after the hearing and planned to reveal its decision at a later date.
Gillmore has suggested moving into a Salem halfway house if paroled. Steve Silver, the head of Stepping Out Ministries, said he would accept Gillmore if his parole supervision is moved from Multnomah County to Marion County.
Normally, released prisoners must return to the county where they lived when they did their crime.