Parents of slain girl sue in US
THE grief-stricken parents of young Irish student Orla Benson who was murdered in Boston two years ago are to sue the US authorities for negligence in allowing her killer to roam the streets, even though he had violated the terms of his parole.
It is understood the family are taking the lawsuit, which could result in multi-million dollars damages being awarded against the city of Boston and the State of Massachusetts, to ensure that similar circumstances never happen again.
Orla's killer, convicted rapist Pedro Rosario (30), who was described by the prosecution at his trial of being a ``sexual predator with a long history of violence'', is now serving life imprisonment for her rape and murder which happened within yards of her Boston apartment in September 1995.
He had been convicted of rape in 1991 and later paroled.
The 22-year-old woman from Muckross, Killarney had been due to graduate from Dublin City University with an honours degree in biotechnology.
She had been out with a group of friends at a farewell party and was dropped off within a short walk of her apartment, in one of the safest areas for students in Boston, when she was waylaid, raped and stabbed.
Legal documents filed against the Attorney General in Boston for undisclosed damages show that the Bensons claim Orla's death was a direct result of the negligence of the probation office.
It is argued that officials failed to exercise reasonable care in monitoring Rosario and enforcing the mandatory terms of his probation and parole.
Rosario had violated the terms of his parole by committing other criminal acts, including rape, but rather then revoking his parole he was allowed to do community service and pay a fine.
The statement of claim said it was while he was doing community service that Rosario came into contact with representatives of West End House, a community centre on Allston Street, where he later killed Orla.
The claim accused the Probation office of failing to adequately advise representatives of the West End House of Rosario's ``known propensities for violence and unlawful conduct which negligence was also the proximate cause of Orla Benson's death''.
One of the Bensons' legal representatives, attorney Denis Guerin, said in New York last night that the case could take two years.
A large sum could be awarded in damages but the family was not interested in monetary reward, he said. Their aim was to ensure similar circumstances neverhappened again.
Kerry-born Mr Guerin added that Boston's probation department had changed the way it monitored criminals after the public outcry following Orla's murder.